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Whare Pukapuka a new hub for the Wellington book sector

Booksellers NZ and New Zealand Book Council have moved in together to form Whare Pukapuka, a shared working space on Boulcott Street.

The office on the ground floor of 79 Boulcott Street underwent extensive earthquake strengthening after it was deemed unsafe in April last year.

Book Council worked part of the week from a BizDojo co-working space during this time.

Book Council CEO Jo Cribb says this experience allowed staff to expand their creative and professional networks and enjoy a collaborative working environment.

With this in mind, the organisations that make up Whare Pukapuka hope to create a welcoming hub and offer the free loan of two spare desks to visitors.

“In the spirit of collaboration, we’d like to offer a space to visiting writers or others in the book sector,” says Jo.

“We have two spare desks, wifi and coffee. Writing is often a solitary craft, and many of those in our networks are self-employed or visiting Wellington from time to time, so it feels right to share this resource and create a welcoming hub here.”

The desks will available to book on a first-come-first-served basis.

Also on offer is a monthly ‘open office’ from 4pm on the first Wednesday afternoon of each month, where sector friends are welcome to come for a mid-week catch-up.

Booksellers NZ CEO Lincoln Gould says that for his organisation, sharing offices with the Book Council on Boulcott Street feels like déjà vu.

“We are now just across the road from Book House, once owned by Booksellers NZ who set up the Book Council, with Dame Fiona Kidman as the first secretary,” says Lincoln.

“Book House is now apartments and obviously we couldn’t use that name for our new shared offices. However, it seems natural to call our new combined home Whare Pukapuka.”

Booksellers NZ is the national membership association for bookshops. Providing information, education and services to its members, the organisation is a strong advocate for the book industry.

The New Zealand Book Council is the only national agency dedicated to reading. It does this through a range of education and advocacy programmes, such as Writers in Schools, which has been running since 1972.

Whare Pukapuka will be launched with drink and nibbles on Wednesday 5 June, 4.30pm to 6pm. All welcome.


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