The Literary Achievement Awards

August 23rd, 2011 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Bronwyn Torrie at the Dom Post reports:

A literary dame, an internationally published poet and a celebrated historian have been recognised for their impact on New Zealand’s literary landscape.

Dame Fiona Kidman, Peter Bland and James Belich received the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement at Premier House in Wellington last night. Each receives $60,000.

Established in 2003, the annual awards recognise writers who have made significant contributions to non-fiction, poetry and fiction.

I happened to be at the awards last night, and it was lovely to see the awards presented to some of our literary giants.

Two of the awards were presented by Arts Minister Chris Finlayson, and one by Opposition Arts Spokesperson Steve Chadwick. I thought it was a nice touch, to share the presenting duties.

The funniest moment of the night was when Finlayson was making his introductory remarks, and greeting the various MPs, Ambassadors and other VIPs there. He saw Justice Joseph Williams in the audience and quipped “Good to see Justice Williams here, I presume he is here as his recent judgements are a finalist for the literary fiction award“.

It’s a rare sight to see the Attorney-General dissing a High Court Judge. Lots of laughter, including I suspect from Justice Williams.

Electoral Commission Appointments

August 30th, 2010 at 2:20 pm by David Farrar

Simon Power announced last week:

The Government today named two members of the new Electoral Commission, which has been created as part of the Government’s wider programme of electoral reform.

Justice Sir Hugh Williams QC has been appointed chairperson, while Robert Peden will be Chief Electoral Officer.

There should be no controversy over these appointments. Sir Hugh is the current president of the (old) Electoral Commission, and Mr Peden was the Chief Electoral Officer, of the old Chief Electoral Office in the Ministry of Justice. Both very solid choices.

One further Commissioner is to be appointed, and he or she will automatically be Deputy Chairperson.