Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


NZ’s best young readers compete in the ‘sport of reading'

New Zealand’s best young readers compete in the ‘sport of reading’

5 June 2018: The Kids’ Lit Quiz continues to prove a good book is just as strong as the pull of social media, with New Zealand’s best young readers facing off in the riveting and tension-filled national final on Sunday.

The national final, to be held in Wellington on June 10, will be the culmination of a series of heats around the country which saw more than 2000 competitors aged 10 to 13 whittled down to 16 teams of four.

The winners of the event, which is supported by the Wright Family Foundation, Whitcoulls, South Pacific Books and Softlink, will earn the chance to represent New Zealand at the World Final, to be held in Auckland in July.

Quizmaster Wayne Mills says in today’s world of ‘screen time’ and short attention spans, the Kids’ Lit Quiz – known as the ‘sport of reading’ for its competitive edge - holds its own in captivating the attention of children.

“Among the noise of digital distractions, the Kids’ Lit Quiz is focused solely on books, at a time when reading has never been so important,” says Wayne, a former top academic in the University of Auckland Faculty of Education.

“Kids still love books. As the pull of social media and other distractions is stronger than ever, readers can get overlooked and the value of reading for pleasure diminished. The Kids’ Lit Quiz gives readers something to aim for and values their reading.

“The fact that the quiz continues to grow each year, both in New Zealand and worldwide, proves the demand for a literary event that challenges and motivates readers to further expand their knowledge of authors and genres.”

Wayne, who was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his work with the Kids’ Lit Quiz, founded the competition in New Zealand 27 years ago with the aim of encouraging children to read. It has since grown to 13 countries including Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa, United Kingdom and USA, with more than 8000 children taking part worldwide. This year Indonesia competed for the first time, with Nigeria and Thailand set to take part in 2019.

New Zealand teams have a sterling record on the world stage, winning five of the 14 international finals. Wayne says the Kids’ Lit Quiz encourages reading for pleasure – increasing children’s vocabulary and expanding their knowledge of the past, present and future.

OECD research shows that reading for pleasure is the single most important indicator of a child’s future success. It’s an even more powerful factor in life achievement than socio-economic background.

“Reading also helps kids develop empathy and emotional intelligence, which is well documented as an indicator of successful relationships and success in the workplace,” says Wayne.

“Kids identify with characters as role models of behaviour, and the well-developed characters in books discourage stereotyping.

“So just by opening up a book there are worlds to explore. It’s absolutely no fluke that books are shaped like doors for that very reason.”

The winners of each regional heat to be competing in the 2018 New Zealand final are:

• Northland: Kamo Intermediate

• Canterbury: Aidanfield Christian School and Christchurch South Intermediate School

• South and Mid Canterbury: Mt Somers School

• Otago: Columba College

• Southland: Blue Mountain College

• Wellington: Queen Margaret College

• Taranaki/Wanganui: Oakura School

• Manawatu: Palmerston North Intermediate Normal School

• Waikato: St Peter's Cambridge

• Hawke's Bay: Eskdale School

• Nelson/Marlborough: Nelson College Preparatory School

• Auckland: King’s School and Belmont Intermediate

• Bay of Plenty: Tauranga Intermediate

• West Coast: Barrytown School


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Joseph Cederwall Review: NZSO Plays Bach And Ellington

The NZSO’s Shed Series returned for 2019 with the aptly titled REBIRTH at Shed 6 on Friday 8th. This theme dealt with the way in which music constantly evolves and changes, with styles and musical periods reborn in completely new and different ways. More>>

Howard Davis Review: Voulez-Vous Couchez Avec Moi? - C'est Chic, Ça Colette!

Starring the ravishingly vibrant Keira Knightley in the title role, Colette is a fairly pedestrian paint-by numbers biopic - which is a little disappointing, given that its cross-dressing and pansexual protagonist lead anything but a dull life. More>>

Wellington Repertory Theatre: New Season Includes Royal Hunt of The Sun

“The objective behind our ambitious 2019 season is to expand our offering to a broader range of Wellingtonians. It’s the first time in over a decade that we’ve produced four shows, and the first time we will be performing at the Hannah Payhouse,” says Oliver Mander, WRT’s President. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Revenants - They Shall Not Grow Old

Jackson has toiled laboriously in the trenches of the digital revolution for decades, with his two turgid Tolkien trilogies constantly pushing the envelope in terms of computer-generated entertainment and providing his latest project with sufficient combat experience to warrant serious Oscar consideration for its remarkable technical achievements. More>>

Unseen Let It Be Footage: Peter Jackson Making "The Ultimate Beatles Film"

Jackson's new film will be compiled from fifty-five hours of never-released studio footage of The Beatles recording their final album Let It Be in January 1969. More>>

NZCT Grants More Than $150,000 to Community Sports

NZCT has approved grants to the Tauranga Boxing Academy, provided a new lease of life to old yachts, benefitted sports at Tiniroto School, and helped to upgrade Christchurch City BMX Club track. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland