A festival of books, storytelling and ideas
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.
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!
Chair, Featherston Booktown Trust
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.”