Authors, poets and bookmakers line up for Festival of Words at Puke Ariki

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Spread the word, NPDC’s Puke Ariki Festival of Words is back with a four-day pop-up event featuring speakers, poets, award-winning authors, and workshops next month.

Tickets went on sale today for the 15-18 June event, which is being held at Puke Ariki Library, Museum, community libraries in Bell Block, Ōākura, Inglewood and Govett-Brewster Art Gallery.

Among the line-up are previous Ockham New Zealand Book Award winner Dame Fiona Kidman, poet Elizabeth Smither, barber, mental health advocate and ambassador for the It's Not OK campaign Matt Brown, author and TEDx speaker Joelene Stockman, poet Emma Barnes and bookmaker Teresa Francis.

Puke Ariki Libraries Manager Dyane Hosler says the last festival in 2021 and it was a big success and the team is delighted to bring it back with plenty for word-lovers to enjoy.

“The festival is about exploring ideas, sharing stories, and igniting conversations and we are really excited with the programme we have developed which also includes book making sessions for children and adults and writing sessions with poets and authors.”

She adds that with each session having limited capacity she is encouraging people secure their tickets early. 

What:   Pop-up Puke Ariki Festival of Words
  15-18 June 2023
Buy online at or from the iSite at Puke Ariki Museum. 

Fast Facts:

  • Puke Ariki opened on 15 June 2003.
  • Puke Ariki and the Community Libraries had more than 842k people through their doors last year and issued over 416k items.
  • In January, a record 10,379 audiobooks and eBooks were downloaded.
  • As of February 2021, there were 22k active library members
  • This is Puke Ariki’s second literary festival after AdLib in 2018.


Caption: Matt Brown is among presenters at Puke Ariki’s Pop-Up Festival of Words