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10–12 May

A festival of books, storytelling and ideas
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We are grateful to our major sponsors


Nau mai ki Featherston Booktown Karukatea Festival 2023!


Main Programme
of Events


Around Featherston
Throughout the Weekend


List of


Fold out Mini-Guide
& Venue Map 


& Self-Publishers



Jump directly to our main page on eventfinda:

Ngā mihi nūnui ki a koutou!
A massive thank you!


...and that's a wrap! What an amazing weekend!

We'd like to extend a heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped make the Featherston Booktown Karukatea Festival 2023 and the Young Readers Programme in Schools 2023, the wonderful successes that they were. Thank you to the audiences, presenters, booksellers, buskers, sponsors, supporters, Friends and volunteers – it was a real blast!

If you haven't filled in a survey form, we'd love to hear your feedback. Tell us what you loved, and tell us where you think things could be improved.

Local Focus: Out in Booktown
NZ Herald article and video


Shaneel Lal is this year's Young New Zealander of the Year. Photo / Phil Stebbing. NZ Herald

“It was a space that allowed everyone to share their views, irrespective of what those views were, and be challenged in a manner that was constructive rather than aggressive,” said Lal, who was surprised that the open-minded Booktown spirit has spread throughout Pae Tū Mōkai, Featherston.

“I must say that my ignorance has really been challenged. I was of this mindset that coming to a small town would mean that people would be more conservative. However, I found that people here are quite open-minded and really receptive to new ideas.”

The Featherston Booktown Podcast is live!

Available on Apple, Spotify and Buzzsproat!

Musical theme by Kolya Marks. Produced by Denver Grenell & Phil Quin for Featherston Booktown. 

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10-12 May 2023

Featherston Booktown Young Readers Programme in Schools


Welcome from the Chair of the Featherston Booktown Trust

Peter Biggs, Chair

Featherston Booktown Trust, Registered Charity: CC52369

Kia ora koutou

Welcome to the eighth Featherston Booktown Karukatea Festival – where we celebrate books, storytelling and ideas, and the artefact and craft of the book.  And welcome to the vibrant and generous Featherston/Pae Tū Mōkai community – Aotearoa New Zealand’s Booktown. 
This year, our highly popular Festival features 51 events and hosts 89 presenters and literary provocateurs, and 25 booksellers. 
A special welcome to our booksellers – including Featherston/Pae Tū Mōkai’s seven bookshops.  They are the heart of the Featherston Booktown Karukatea Festival. 
Featherston Booktown belongs to the Featherston/Pae Tū Mōkai community, many of whom generously volunteer their time and talents to ensure the Festival’s success. We are deeply grateful  to mana whenua for our ongoing partnership which adds so much to the richness of the Karukatea Festival experience and programme.  

I’d like to thank sincerely our sponsors, donors, supporters, Friends and volunteers – Featherston Booktown’s Karukatea Festival, Young Readers Programme and our events series couldn’t happen without your support.  


A heartfelt “ngā mihi” to our Operations Manager, Mary Biggs, and her wonderful team. Thanks too, to the tireless and dedicated Featherston Booktown Board of Trustees – Liz Mellish, Cheryl Gallaway, Mary McCallum, Craig Linkhorn, Dave Adams, Noelle McCarthy (who has finished her term as an amazing Trustee) and Darrin Goulding.  We also recognise and celebrate our Patron, Joy Cowley, and Founding Kaumātua, Lincoln Gould.  Enjoy the 2023 Featherston Booktown Karukatea Festival! 

Ngā manaakitanga

Peter Biggs

Chair, Featherston Booktown Trust

About Featherston Booktown 

Booktowns are an international phenomenon, celebrating books, from their stories through to their paper, glue and ink.


Featherston is now a fully-fledged, internationally recognised Booktown.

Special thanks to Pete Monk for putting together this video.

Featherston's Bookstores

For full details about our town's seven all year round bookmongers, visit our Bookstores page.


Can we ask you a favour?​

Featherston Booktown is a charity and in a normal year ticket sales make up a substantial part of our income. Recently, however, Covid restrictions mean our box office revenue has been severely reduced, while many of our costs are fixed.

We have also decided not to charge for events that are shown online as we want to make sure that any of our events are open to the widest possible audience.

Would you consider helping us fill the funding gap by making a donation? We know that not everyone is in a position to do so, but every gift helps us deliver the Karukatea Festival and our other events throughout the year and supports our writers and readers.

We hope you enjoy our online events and that you come away inspired and uplifted. Thank you again for supporting Featherston Booktown.

  1. Click on the green button below and you'll be redirected to a form on a new browser tab using POLi Pay.

  2. Type in a donation amount and please provide your name and your email address so that we can email you receipt - as all donations are tax deductible as Featherston Booktown is a registered charity.

  3. You may be prompted to prove you are a human by selected images from a standard Captcha 'security' feature

  4. You will be asked to choose your NZ bank and then you'll need to supply your Internet Banking login details, the account you wish to pay from and a 'Payers' code.

...Thank you. We really do appreciate your support.

Make a Donation

Stay up-to-date

Keep an eye on our Facebook page for news and updates for the upcoming Featherston Booktown events throughout the year.

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