Elder Congratulates Montana Award Winners

  • Jack Elder
Internal Affairs

The New Zealand Historical Atlas has had a very profound impact on the New Zealand community, Internal Affairs Minister Jack Elder said today.

This impact was recognised at last night's Montana Book Awards when the Atlas won the inaugural Readers' Choice Award based on public voting for the most significant New Zealand book of last year, he said.

The Atlas, which was edited by Malcolm McKinnon and produced by the Historical Branch of the Department of Internal Affairs, also won the Booksellers' Award based on a poll of retailers, and the GP Print Award for the best use of illustration in a New Zealand book.

"It is an outstanding achievement for the Department of Internal Affairs and I am doubly delighted because as Minister I also chair the Lottery Grants Board which made the Atlas possible through grants totalling more than $1.1 million," Mr Elder said.

"Many New Zealanders who might not have thought or known much about our country's history have been drawn to learn more about it through the Atlas because the information is presented in such an exciting and stimulating way."

The Lottery Grants Board also part funded another of last night's Montana Book Award winners, The Dictionary of New Zealand English.

Dictionary editor Harry Orsman was the winner of the History and Biography section and also picked up the inaugural Montana Medal for non-fiction.

"A $275,000 Lottery grant in the late 1980s was the turning point for the development of the dictionary," Mr Elder said. "The money meant the editor could get much-needed help - literally turning the project from a one man band into a team effort."