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Prime Minister's Awards for Literary Achievement

Each year the Prime Minister's Awards for Literary Achievement recognise notable literary achievement by New Zealand writers who have made a significant contribution to New Zealand literature in the genres of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. New Zealanders are invited to submit a nomination (see section three below to download a nomination form).


Closing dates:

Find out who got funded recently

$60,000 in each category

20 May 2016

Artforms funded:

This content is tagged as Literature .

1. Check your eligibility

Who can be nominated

Nominees must:

  • be living New Zealand writers, ie New Zealand citizen or resident
  • be writers whose work has been acclaimed and acknowledged by their peers and the general public
  • not previously have been a recipient of the award in any genre — see previous recipients

Acclaim and acknowledgement of the writer may be shown by having:

  • written a body of work that has received national acclaim
  • received a major fellowship, residency, book award and/or international recognition
  • shown leadership in the New Zealand literary sector.

Who can make a nomination

  • New Zealand individuals and organisations can nominate writers.
  • Writers can nominate themselves.


Nominees and those making nominations cannot be:

  • employees of Creative New Zealand
  • employees of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • members of the Arts Council

2. See what's funded

Award categories

One award is made each year in each of three categories:

  • fiction: any genre including novels, short stories, plays, children’s fiction, and scriptwriting
  • poetry
  • non-fiction: any non-fiction discipline —the quality of the work is the main determinant.

3. Make an application

Downloads (application forms and criteria)

Register or Log in

How to nominate

To nominate a writer:

  1. Complete the nomination form.
  2. Submit it by email or in hard copy to either our Auckland or Wellington office, to arrive by 5pm on the closing date.

Submitting your nomination

Email address


Wellington office addresses


Prime Minister's Award 
Creative New Zealand 
PO Box 3806 
Wellington 6140

Courier or hand-delivery

Prime Minister's Award 
Creative New Zealand 
Aorangi House 
Level 10, 85 Molesworth Street 
Wellington 6011

Auckland office address


Prime Minister's Awards 2016
Creative New Zealand 
PO Box 1425 
Auckland 1140


Prime Minister's Awards 2016
Creative New Zealand 
Level 1, Southern Cross Building 
59-67 High Street 
Auckland 1010

4. Assessing applications

Nominations are assessed by an expert literary panel and recommendations forwarded to the Arts Council for approval.

5. Notification of results


The recipients of the awards are contacted by phone and email once the Arts Council has approved the recommended recipients.

Public announcement

The awards are announced in a media release by Creative New Zealand.

We also list all recipients since the award's inauguration in 2003 on the web page Award winners: Prime Ministers Awards for Literary Achievement.

Awards presentation 

The winners are invited to an official function in Wellington to receive the awards shortly after the public announcement.

6. On completion

7. Who to contact

Senior Arts Adviser — Literature
Malcolm Burgess
Phone: (04) 498 0707
Email: malcolm.burgess@creativenz.govt.nz