In 2016 the LIANZA Children and Young Adult Book Awards were transferred to the New Zealand Book Awards Trust, and merged with the Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. This has enabled the 60 year legacy of the LIANZA book awards to be strengthened.
The Te Kura Pounamu Award is judged by LIANZA’s partner Te Rōpū Whakahau. The strong influence of libraries and librarians continues to this day through the partnership between LIANZA and the NZ Book Awards Trust and strong representation of librarians on the judging panel.
This year’s convenor of judges Crissi Blair has been writing about children’s books and their makers for nearly 20 years, including seven years for the Book Council’s e-news The School Library, reviews and articles for Magpies magazine, where she is now New Zealand Coordinator, and her own publication New Zealand Children’s Books in Print 2005-2013. She was a member of the 2018 judging panel for the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, and has a long involvement with Storylines, including three years as festival manager. Crissi has a Bachelor in Design and Visual Arts, with a specialist interest in picture book illustration, and has recently finished studying for library qualifications while working as a librarian at Rangeview Intermediate School in Auckland.
Here at the LIANZA Office we feel the awards are in good hands with these knowledgeable librarians!