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Featherston Booktown Karukatea Festival 2021


A Warm Welcome
from the Chair

Kia ora tātou,


It’s with a great sense of excitement that I welcome you to the sixth Featherston Booktown Festival - and to Featherston/Paetumokai.


This year, we are offering 55 events and hosting 99 presenters and literary provocateurs, along with 23 booksellers.  


Featherston Booktown belongs to the people of the Featherston community, many of whom generously volunteer their time and talents to ensure the Festival’s success.


But it also belongs to all those who love books, writing and ideas - and who take delight in the artefact and craft of the book, whether it be by offering books for sale or  publishing, editing and making them - or through exploring the tables and shelves of booksellers and bookshops in search of that fugitive tome.


This year’s Festival programme offers a mix of new initiatives and established audience favourites.


The new initiatives include:


  • A  programme for Schools in the days leading up to the Festival – Speed Date an Author, Storytime with Selina Tusitala Marsh and Donovan Bixley and Slam Poetry at Kuranui College for senior students.

  • This year we have formed a partnership with Wai Word to bring Wairarapa writers to the Festival and they will talk about the influence of place on their writing.

The genesis of these innovations is the strategic goal of Featherston Booktown to be more than simply an annual festival - but to be a nationally significant literary development organisation.

You’ll see that, by popular demand, our programme includes those events which, over the past years, have made Featherston Booktown a compelling destination - but, this year, we’ve tried, as always, to change things up and keep things fresh.


Over the three days of the Festival, we offer adventures through books, book-shaping, stories and ideas, including Māori kai, home-baking, locally made cheese and Country tea and cakes.


A warm welcome to our booksellers, many who have supported us since the beginning of Featherston Booktown and some who are new this year.  We also welcome a number of self-publishers who will be selling their books with the booksellers in the Anzac Hall.


I’d like to thank our sponsors and donors - Featherston Booktown couldn’t happen without your generous support. A special welcome to our newest sponsor, Mr Sold.


Finally, I’d like to thank my fellow indefatigable Featherston Booktown Trustees - Liz Mellish, Noelle McCarthy, Kate Mead, Mary McCallum, Lesley Christian, Cheryl Gallaway and Ross Vickery - along with our Patron, Joy Cowley, and Founding Kaumatua, Lincoln Gould. 


A thousand thanks to Operations Manager, Mary Biggs, and her wonderful team, including our outstanding volunteers.


Enjoy Featherston Booktown 2021! Ha waahi nui! Manuia!


Peter Biggs

Chair: Featherston Booktown Trust

Thank you to Our Sponsors and Supporters

Major Sponsors




Joy Cowley

Faith Wrigley

Liz Stringer

M&P Biggs CNZM

JR Matthews Trust



100% Proof Red
Caroline Peren

Julie Lewis of Small Business Matters

A Hannah & D Goulding of Tauherenikau River BnB



F&M Donald

Jo Beetham QSM

Friends of Featherston Booktown 2020 & 2021

Adrienne Staples

Alan Duff

Alan Wendt

Ali Ward of Rawdons

Andrew Morrison and Deborah Barratt

Andrew Wright

Anne Hannah & Darrin Goulding

Anne Hynds and Derek McCluskie

Bavarianz Limited

Bobby-Joe Wilson and Brian King

Bowen Galleries

Christine and David Kernohan

Christopher Finlayson

Craig Linkhorn
David & Jenny Hedley - Hedley’s Bookshop

Don and  Carol Duffy

D Borshcheva

EJ Fitzmaurice

Elizabeth Patchett & John Taber

Ella & Felix Hallwass

Emma McCleary of Emma Makes

Ernst & Virginia Kunz – Underhill Cottage

Finom Limited

Flora’s Kitchen

Garrick Emms & Marguerite Tait-Jamieson

Gerald Hensley CNZM

Graham & Liz Mellish MNZM

GJ & R Burnard

Greytown Honey

Jane Keig

JL & LJ Adler

Joanna and Julian Ludbrook

John Broeren

John McKinney

Jules Le Loir

Julie Lewis

Karen Commons of The Le Vailla

Leigh Catley and Stephen Morris

Linda Clark

Lisa Adler

Liz Fitzmaurice

Lydia Wevers ONZM

Margie and Fraser Donald

Margie Sharpe

Martinborough Jelly Company

May McLeod

Megan Campbell

Millie Blackwell of Mrs Blackwell’s Village Bookshop

Nicholas Biggs

Nik Rilkoff

Olivo Limited

Paora Ammunsen

Paul & Mary Mason

Pete Roberts

Peter Biggs

Peter Whiteford

Ra Smith

Richard and Sue Byrne

Richard Langston

Robyn Cornford

Romain Busby

Russell & Suzann Pearless

Scilla Askew and Robert

Sharleen Forbes

Steve Laurence

Sue Lazarus

Susan Hooper

Susan Ryan of Mr Feather’s Den

Te Maire Tau

The Country Cooking School

Underhill Honey 

Wairarapa Eggs

Wildchixs Muesli

...and a sincere thank you to our many presenters, volunteers
and book-loving Featherston Community for their ongoing support!

Featherston's Bookstores

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

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