Discover Wai-te-ata’s elegant selection of publications, many written by contemporary New Zealand writers and artists.


During the 1960s and 70s, Wai-te-ata Press was a key contributor to the development and recognition of New Zealand literature. It made contemporary writing readily available to students and the general public at a price and format accessible to the reading/buying public. This was during a time in which printed works of writers were difficult if not impossible to publish, sell or buy in NZ bookshops, let alone overseas.

Significant writers printed and published by Wai-te-ata Press during this period include Alistair Campbell, James K Baxter, Peter Bland, Charles Brasch, Charles Doyle, Sam Hunt, Iain Lonie, and Bill Manhire. Four issues of the literary journal Words: Wai-te-ata Studies in Literature also appeared occasionally from 1965-1974 and featured student honours essays as well as critical works on major literary figures. The work of New Zealand visual artists Robin White, Don Peebles, Joanna Paul and Grant Tilley featured in many of the Press's publications as title-page designs, frontispieces, or illustrations.

Under the initiative of Douglas Lilburn, Wai-te-ata Press established a music division in 1967 to print and distribute scores by New Zealand composers ranging from Douglas Lilburn, Jenny McLeod, David Farquhar, Jack Body, Larry Pruden and John Rimmer to Lyell Cresswell, Gillian Whitehead and Eve de Castro-Robinson. Waiteata Music Editions remains a seminal force on the domestic and international scene, now a separate publishing house under the direction of Michael Norris of the New Zealand School of Music and renamed Waiteata Music Press.


Publications from 1995 onward are listed below. Most titles are available to order.

The cover of the Italian edition of Janet Frame's Storms will tell

Janet Frame - Parleranno le tempeste / Storms will tell


(translated by Francesca Benocci and Eleonora Bello)

2017: Gabrilele Capelli Editore, pp. 96, 15x21cm. The Italian translation of selected poetry by Janet Frame.

The cover of the Italian edition of Potiki.

Patricia Grace - Potiki


(translated by Antonella Sarti Evans)

2017: Joker Edizione, pp.216, 13x20cm. The first Italian translation of New Zealand classic, Potiki.

The Zine Collection box with contents spread out beside it.

The Zine Collection


(edited and designed by Sydney Shep)

2017: Contains 11 zines and a letterpress printed colophon. Box dimensions: 190mm (when untwisted) x 70mm. Individual zine dimensions: 110mm x 75mm.

Inspired by a Lithuanian chocolate box and a pop-up gallery, this box of zines gathers together several occasional pieces featuring various forms of creative translation. Celebrated writers such as Dante, The Brothers Grimm, Einstein and Poswiatowska join New Zealand artists Sarah Laing, Ant Sang, Ashley Brown and Barbara Strathdee as well as translation specialists Hone Apanui, Nora Guzu, Bill Manhire and Courtney Sina Meredith.

The cover of the English Translation of Everyone needs a father by Stefano Pirandello

Stefano Pirandello - Un padre ci vuole / Everyone needs a father


(Edited and with commentary by Sarah Zappulla Muscara and Enzo Zappula, translated by Barabara McGilvroy)

2017: pp.146. The first English translation of Pirandello. Published in association with the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Sydney, Australia.

Best New Zealand Poems 2015: Florilègio di poesia neozelandese contemporanea


(translated by Francesca Benocci, with Claudia Bernardi, Sally Hill, Marco Sonzogni)

2016: 138pp, The NZCLT Collection. Supported by the Embassy of Italy in New Zealand, the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Sydney, Australia, Creative New Zealand and the NZCLT. In association with the IIML. Cover and design by Ya-Wen Ho.

Best New Zealand poems 2014: Xin Xi Lan Nian Du Zhui Jia Shi Suan


(translated by Liang Yujing, edited by Luo Hui)

2015: 90pp, The NZCLT Collection. Supported by the Confucius Institute at VUW and the NZCLT. In association with the IIML. Cover and design by Ya-Wen Ho.

Paul Thompson - Poem: Waikanae River


(with Sydney Shep & Glenna Matcham)

2015: Museum Photon Press, Waikanae ; production by Kinetic Digital ; Port Nicolson Packaging Wellington. Scroll unfurls from a box to reveal poem. Limited edition of 20.

The World in a Box: The Diplomatic Edition 2012-2014

Sold out

(edited by Marco Sonzogni and Sydney Shep)

2014: 15 volumes, a collaboration between the New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation and embassies and other cultural centres in Wellington, New Zealand. Each book has as a theme a different poem or piece of writing by a writer in the language of that country, which is translated into one or more languages, including English and Māori. Some of the volumes were created to mark an occasion of cultural significance, while others commemorate purely the diplomatic relationship between New Zealand and the respective countries. Paper sculpture by Jumbletree. Limited edition.

Paul Thompson - 7.34


(with Sydney Shep & Glenna Matcham)

2013: Printed by Lithoprint, Wellington and hand-bound by Jumbletree. Actual railway timetables are used for the covers and there is a real commuter's ticket inside everybook. Limited edition of 50.

Patricia Grace - Covering Parade: a festschrift celebrating the 75th birthday of Patricia Grace

Sold out

(with Piri Sciacia, Alice Te Punga Somerville, Jo Smith, Witi Ihimaera & international graphic designers)

2012: 54pp, includes Patricia Grace's 1975 short story "Parade" which first appeared in the collection "Waiariki," with criticism and interpretation of "Parade" and artworks provoked by "Parade."

Pat White & Catherine Day - Gnossienne : poems & images from Randell Cottage


(translated by Nadine Ribault & Jean Anderson)

2012: 26pp, Collaborative project celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Wai-te-ata Press and the tenth anniversary of the Randell Cottage Writers Trust residency. Handbound at Wai-te-ata Press.

Paul Thompson - The Colour of Water


(with Sydney Shep & Glenna Matcham)

2011: Printed by Lithoprint, Wellington and hand-bound by Jumbletree. Limited edition of 50.

Rachel Bush - All Patients Report Here

Sold out

2006: 35pp, photos by Alan Knowles. Poems written after the author was poet in residence at Wellington Hospital as part of the Poets in Workplaces Scheme.

Warwick McLeod - Liber : an installation


(with reflections by Damien Skinner, Paul Thompson and Amanda Wayers)

2005: 38pp, exhibition catalogue, bound on 2 sides with centre opening. Installation venues: Aratoi, Wairarapa Museum of Art & History Masterton, 5 Feb. to 3 April, 2005 and Lopdell House Gallery, Auckland, 7 April to 22 May, 2005.

Miria George - The Wet Season


2005: Limited edition letterpress poem with cover wrapper image created by Fatu Feu'u. 150 copies only signed and numbered.

Shannon Welch - Island Nation

Sold out

2003: Limited edition letterpress poem written during Shannon Welch's tenure as 2003 Glenn Schaeffer Fellow at the International Institute of Modern Letters, Victoria University of Wellington. 75 copies only signed and numbered.

IIML Poetry Workshop Collection


2002-2005: Boxed set including The Approach, Waveforms, A Question of Poetry, Real Life Bird Song, Domestica and The Alphabet Farm.

IIML - The Alphabet Farm


2005: 20pp, letterpress cover printed by Abby Letteri of dog's tail press using types from the Press hellbox; 150 copies only, numbered.

IIML - Domestica


2004: 20pp, letterpress cover printed by John Brebner of Homeprint, Feilding, with original photopolymer block; 150 copies only, numbered.

IIML - Real Life Bird Song: Twelve Poems


2003: 20pp, letterpress cover printed by Catherine McDonald of Wanganui, with original woodcut by Catherine McDonald; 150 copies only, numbered.

IIML - A question of poetry


2003: 20pp,  written by participants in Gregory O'Brien's Summer 2003 poetry workshop at the International Institute of Modern Letters, Victoria University of Wellington, letterpress cover printed by John Holmes; 150 copies only, numbered.

IIML - Waveforms


2002: 20pp, written by participants in the spring 2002 poetry workshop at the International Institute of Modern Letters, Victoria University of Wellington, letterpress cover printed by Tara McLeod; 150 copies only, numbered.

IIML - The Approach: twelve poems


2002: 20pp, produced during January 2002 by members of the poetry workshop at the International Institute of Modern Letters, Victoria University of Wellington, letterpress cover printed by Brendan O'Brien, with original wood engraving by John Drawbridge; 150 copies only, numbered.

Alistair Te Ariki Campbell - Maori Battalion: A Poetic Sequence


2001: 116pp, 72 poems celebrating the feats, frustrations and sorrows of NZ's renowned fighting force with images from the War History Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library.

Janet Hughes - Stairdancing


2001: 36pp, first poetry volume by this Wellington writer and artist illustrated with a suite of original collographs.

Jenny Bornholdt - These Things


2000: 6pp, limited edition letterpress poem with images by Greg O'Brien, hand-printed by Brendan O'Brien; 150 copies only signed and numbered.

Alistair Te Ariki Campbell - Gallipoli & Other Poems


1999: 52pp, two poetic sequences on themes of war, love and peace blending lyricism, wit, and conversational comedy.

Leconte de Lisle - Le Dernier des Maourys / The Last of the Maourys


(translated by Christiane Mortelier)

1998: 36pp, a dramatic and historic monologue from the nineteenth century recounting the twilight years of an old Māori chief in the Chatham Islands; French and English with illustrations and letterpress cover.

Louis Johnson - The Perfect Symbol


(edited by Terry Sturm)

1998: 80pp, 32 previously unpublished poems by this great New Zealand literary figure with 5 full-colour drawings by Edgar Mansfield, New Zealand artist, sculptor and bookbinder.

Bill Manhire and class - 1396: A Literary Calendar

Out of print

1996: limited edition perpetual calendar of prose and poetry by 12 writers in Manhire’s 1996 Original Composition class plus special assemblage by Manhire; hand-printed on German etching paper with block by Annora Gollop; 150 numbered copies only.

Allen Curnow - The Scrap-Book

$55 (signed); $40

1996: fold-out poem hand-printed in sepia on German mouldmade paper with wrapper; musings on a journal entry from 1841; limited edition 150 copies; 75 signed by the poet.

Roma Potiki - Poems

Out of print

1995: 6 hand-printed broadsheets/frameable prints with printed and signed wrapper; poems on love, life and the land; limited edition 100 signed copies only.

Alistair Te Ariki Campbell - Death and the Tagua


1995: 24pp, hand-printed and hand-bound with wrapper and slip-title; new and old poems celebrating Campbell’s 70th birthday; limited edition 150 signed copies only.