Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

Te Papa Press

Sarah Foster, Te Papa Press – Nicola’s Place, 14 July 2016

tepapapress_logoA constant source of gossip within the book industry of recent times has been what on earth is happening to Te Papa Press. Last April saw a nadir in its existence as it came close to disappearing altogether, with a direct email campaign to Rick Ellis helping him to decide it was too valuable an asset to New Zealand culture to close down. This was followed by Senior Editor Odessa Owens leaving permanently to run the Whitireia Publishing Programme, and the departure of Publisher Claire Murdoch in December 2015.

Six months on, all is becoming clear. We need not have feared. Te Papa Press has done a deal with Massey University Press to appoint Publisher Nicola Legat to head of both Massey University Press and Te Papa Press. We had a talk with Nicola Legat about what this means for bookshops and the reading public.

Agreement signed today

This business sharing agreement has been signed today, by Te Papa chief executive Rick Ellis (left) and Massey University Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey.

This will see the publishers work together to produce books under two separate imprints: Te Papa Press and Massey University Press.

“We are delighted to partner with Massey University and to work with a publisher of Nicola Legat’s calibre. Te Papa Press will continue its proud legacy of scholarly, relevant and engaging publishing,” says Te Papa Chief Executive Rick Ellis.

And just to clarify, Massey University Press is publishing books for Te Papa Press, which will continue to exist. “They are separate entities, and they will each publish under their own imprints, with the drivers of their lists remaining specific and particular to each of them,” says Nicola.

So Te Papa Press is not melting into the newcomer, but will retain its own character – which is excellent news for readers.

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