About Us

Te Herenga Waka University Press is a division of Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington and is Aotearoa's leading publisher of fiction and poetry, as well as scholarly and literary non-fiction.

Established in the early 1970s as Victoria University Press of Wellington, Te Herenga Waka University Press has grown from a staff of one to a staff of six, under the leadership since 1985 of publisher Fergus Barrowman. We have published about eight hundred books in total, and on average we publish thirty-two new books every year. We have a special mission to discover new writers.


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


Te Herenga Waka University Press 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, Dinah Hawken and the inaugural New Zealand Poet Laureate Bill Manhire.


We publish 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 literary magazine 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).

Publishing Manager

Craig Gamble started at Te Herenga Waka University Press in 2005. Since then he has seen the press grow from a staff of four to seven, and from publishing fifteen titles per year to an average of thirty. 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


Tayi Tibble started at Te Herenga Waka University Press in 2020, after a stint in the office as the editor of Sport 47. She is also the author of Poūkahangatus and Rangikura, and writes for Metro.

Managing Editor

Ashleigh Young has been with Te Herenga Waka University Press since 2014. She has worked on poetry collections, novels, 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.


Kyleigh Hodgson has worked at Te Herenga Waka University Press 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.


Jasmine Sargent (Ngāti Porou) has been with Te Herenga Waka University Press as an editor since 2019 and has a special focus on our reo Māori titles. Her project highlights so far 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. 


Anna Knox has worked at Te Herenga Waka University Press since 2022 as an editor. Some of the titles she has worked on include Ruin by Emma Hislop, Calamities! by Jane Arthur, This Is a Story About Your Mother by Louise Wallace, and Arms and Legs by Chloe Lane.


Rawinia Higgins, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Māori and 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


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 Te Herenga Waka University Press are 'firm' unless otherwise arranged. 


Search here to find out which of our titles are currently available from independent New Zealand booksellers:



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 of the title is available.