Te Herenga Waka University Press is Aotearoa New Zealand's leading publisher of new fiction and poetry, and scholarly non-fiction.

Established in the early 1970s as Victoria University Press of Wellington, THW has grown from a staff of one to a staff of seven, under the leadership since 1985 of publisher Fergus Barrowman. About 800 books have been published and on average 32 new books are published every year. VUP has a special mission to discover new writers.


THW's fiction list features many of Aotearoa's foremost writers including Eleanor Catton, Elizabeth Knox, Catherine Chidgey, Pip Adam, Airini Beautrais, Annaleese Jochems, Sue Orr, Damien Wilkins, Barbara Anderson and Vincent O'Sullivan.


THW has Aotearoa's strongest and most vibrant poetry list, featuring new poets such as Tayi Tibble, Freya Daly Sadgrove, essa may ranapiri and Oscar Upperton, alongside the widely acclaimed poets Tusiata Avia, Hinemoana Baker, Jenny Bornholdt, Vincent O'Sullivan, Dinal Hawken and the inaugural NZ Poet Laureate Bill Manhire.


THW publishes vital work in a wide range of subjects, including history, law and public policy, biography and memoir, literary studies, politics, art and architecture, Pacific studies, te reo Māori and personal essay. Our non-fiction is viewed in broad, culturally diverse and interdisciplinary terms, embracing studies of Aotearoa's past and present and how these may shape the future. Some of the critically acclaimed authors we have published are Rose Lu, Shayne Carter, Rachel Barrowman, Carwyn Jones, Vincent Ieni Olsen-Reeder, Geoff Park, Ashleigh Young, Maurice Gee and Chessie Henry. 




Fergus Barrowman has been publisher of Te Herenga Waka University Press (formerly Victoria University Press) since 1985, and was the co-founder and editor of Sport (1988–2019). He edited The Picador Book of Contemporary New Zealand Fiction (1996) and A Game of Two Halves: The Best of Sport 2005–2019 (2021). Editing jobs he remembers fondly include Keri Hulme, Te Kaihau/The Windeater (1986), Elizabeth Knox, After Z-Hour (1987) and Geoff Park, Ngā Uruora: The Groves of Life (1995).


Ashleigh Young has been with THW since 2014. She has worked on poetry collections, novels and short stories, and many forms of nonfiction. A few of the authors she has worked with include Pip Adam, Shayne Carter, Oscar Upperton, Rose Lu and Ruby Solly.


Jasmine Sargent (Ngāti Porou) has been with THW since 2019. Her project highlights include Monsters in the Garden (2020) and the Vanuatu women’s anthology Sista, Stanap Strong! (2021). She has worked on books with Airini Beautrais and Patrick Evans, and on short fiction with Patricia Grace and Witi Ihimaera. She is passionate about te reo Māori and is in her third year of study with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.


Kyleigh Hodgson has worked at THW since 2007, copyediting, typesetting and proofreading mostly non-fiction works, including the last five books in our series covering New Zealand's general elections (Politics in a PandemicStardust and SubstanceMoments of TruthKicking the Tyres and Key to Victory) and the four-volume box set James K Baxter: Complete Prose.

Publishing Manager

Craig Gamble started at THW in 2005 and since then he has seen the press grow, from a staff of 4 to 7, and from publishing 15 titles per year to an average of 30. Craig has a broad range of responsibilities, but has loved seeing new authors like Eleanor Catton, Pip Adam, Annaleese Jochems and many others make their mark in the literary world. He is the editor of Middle Distance: Long Stories of Aotearoa. 

Publicity Manager

Kirsten McDougall has publicised books like The LuminariesThe Absolute Book, PoūkahangatusBabyAll Who Live on Islands, Dead People I Have Known and Hera Lindsay Bird. Her favourite thing is to watch new authors meet their audience and to watch new audiences discover the fantastic NZ literature THW publishes. She is a fiction writer (She's a KillerTess and The Invisible Rider). 

Publicity Assistant

Tayi Tibble started at THWUP in 2020, after a small stint in the office as the editor of Sport 47. She is the author of Poukahangatus and Rangikura, and writes for Metro. 


Blair McRae, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Engagement (Convenor)

Bill Manhire, Emeritus Professor and Founding Director of the International Institute of Modern Letters

Rebecca Priestley, Associate Professor/Reader Wellington Faculty of Science

Lawrie McColl, Publishing Consultant

Fergus Barrowman, Publisher


Information for Booksellers

Our books are sold to booksellers in New Zealand by Archetype and are distributed in New Zealand by Upstart Distribution, orders@upstartpress.co.nz.

Please note: all books sold directly by THW are 'firm' unless otherwise arranged. 



Many of our titles are now available as ebooks and can be purchased via ebook retailers, including MeBooks.


The meBooks logo appears on pages where an ebook is available.