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The Fishes of New Zealand wins international award

The Fishes of New Zealand wins prestigious international award

The Fishes of New Zealand has been awarded the 2016 Whitley Medal for outstanding publication in Australasian zoology by The Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales. The medal is regarded as Australia's highest award for zoological publishing and this is the first time it has been won by a New Zealand publication.

Written and edited by Te Papa’s fish team of Clive Roberts, Andrew Stewart and Carl Struthers, and published by Te Papa Press in November 2015, the four-volume book is the culmination of decades of collecting and research by the three Te Papa–based scientists, in collaboration with more than 40 specialists worldwide.

The encyclopaedic illustrated guide identifies and explores the 1,262 known species of fishes living in New Zealand waters.

The Whitley Medal was presented to Roberts, Stewart and Struthers in a ceremony at the museum in Sydney last night by the Australian Museum’s Ichthyology Collection Manager Mark McGrouther.

Author Clive Roberts said that receiving the Whitley Medal was a great honour for the scientific editors, forty four authors, editorial team, Te Papa Press, Te Papa and collaborative partner NIWA.

“We all worked very hard to produce a comprehensive, detailed and practical guide for the benefit of New Zealand, Australia, and the international science community,” he said.

The Fishes of New Zealand identifies many newly discovered fish species, including more than 140 that are new to New Zealand. The book was praised by the awards panel for delivering something new.

“In order to be awarded the Whitley Medal, publications need to break into areas that haven’t been explored before. The Fishes of New Zealand has done this. This is a truly remarkable collection of books,” said Zoological Society Councillor Arthur White.

Te Papa Press Publisher Nicola Legat said that the award was a real tribute to the teams that had worked so hard over such a long time to bring it to fruition.

“It is a landmark for both scientific research and for publishing,” she said.

NIWA CEO John Morgan said NIWA is extremely proud to be part of such an important co-operative publishing achievement that advanced knowledge and understanding of the extraordinary range of fish found in New Zealand waters.

This is an outstanding example of collaborative effort in the true spirit of science,” he said.

The Fishes of New Zealand is available for purchase online from and in the Te Papa Store.


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