Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Clark: Presentation of bookset to Nat Library

Embargoed until 4.50 pm
Tuesday 2 September 2008

Rt Hon Helen Clark
Prime Minister

Address at
Presentation of rare bookset ‘Godley Gifts’ to the National Library

National Library

4.50 pm

Tuesday 2 September 2008

It is a pleasure for me as Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture, and Heritage to accept, on behalf of the National Library of New Zealand, the rare bookset, ‘Godley Gifts’, which will be housed at the Alexander Turnbull Library.

My thanks go to Haydn Rawstron and the John Robert Godley Memorial Trust for this very generous gift. I know that the Alexander Turnbull Library will treasure and care for the gift, ensuring that New Zealanders will be able to enjoy it for generations to come.

The National Library of New Zealand, home of the Alexander Turnbull Library, is entrusted with enriching the “cultural and economic life of New Zealand and its interchanges with other nations”. In that role, the National Library collects, preserves, and provides access to its collections.

The ‘Godley Gifts’ now have a home which is highly appropriate for such a valuable piece of New Zealand literary history. This fine bookset of three volumes is hand finished to the highest standard of craftsmanship and carefully encased in a beautiful presentation box.

The set takes its name from Arthur Godley, the young boy who was gifted the 64 page part leather bound book, Seadrift, for Christmas in 1858. Seadrift is possibly New Zealand’s earliest fully illustrated children’s fiction book. It was created over a seven year period by James Edward Fitzgerald, for the son of Canterbury’s founder, John Robert Godley. Fitzgerald himself was a distinguished politician and the founder of the Lyttelton Times and The Press.

An exact replica of Seadrift itself is the second volume in the bookset. No further replica copies of Seadrift – over and above the one hundred copies within this limited edition and the ten printers’ proofs not available for sale – will ever be produced. Volume one of the ‘Godley Gifts’ is a collection of essays commissioned for publication from renowned writer and actor, David McPhail. Volume three is a collection of early Canterbury-related watercolours, most of which – like Seadrift – have never previously been published.

In 2000 I was delighted to be invited to write the foreword to the replica publication of Seadrift. Eight years on I am pleased to see this treasure available for others to enjoy. The ‘Godley Gifts’ give us insights into life into Victorian New Zealand and perhaps most of all, into the importance of celebrating friendship.

This gift comes at a time when the National Library of New Zealand is taking steps to raise its profile and make its collections more accessible. The Library’s New Generation Strategy aims to contribute to giving New Zealanders and the world a greater understanding of who and what we are and of the influences on our development as a nation. The impending redevelopment of this 1970s Molesworth Street building will reshape the Library’s services and, in line with New Zealand’s digital strategy, make digital opportunities and the Library’s collections available to broader audiences.

Once again I thank Haydn Rawstron and the John Robert Memorial Trust for this welcome gift. The ‘Godley Gifts’ will feature amongst the treasured collections which document New Zealand’s heritage in the Alexander Turnbull Library.

I now invite Penny Carnaby, Chief Executive and National Librarian of the National Library to receive this rare bookset, the Godley Gifts’ to be held in the Alexander Turnbull Library.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>




Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>


Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>


Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>


Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>


Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>


(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>






Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election