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Book & Print in New Zealand : A Guide to Print Culture in Aotearoa

Education and training

Education and training

Most skills in book production came directly to New Zealand from Europe, especially from the United Kingdom. Later immigration of skilled tradespeople from Australia also had an influence, and the nature and extent of these importations and their effect on the development of a local publishing practice requires more extensive study. Training for publishers has traditionally been 'on the job', as tyro editorial staff worked their way up to positions of greater influence and responsibility. New Zealand publishers have come from a variety of backgrounds, including bookselling, printing, journalism, librarianship and accountancy, and have imported relevant skills and training. The arrival of the multinational publishing firms brought with it some trained and experienced staff, and occasional opportunities for reciprocal exchanges with other offices, often ground for the fertilisation of new ideas. More recently, formal training has been available from the Australian Book Publishers' Association, and since 1993 a one-year full-time course has been offered at Whitireia Community Polytechnic in Porirua. The scope of this course is indicated in its publication First Edition (1993, rev. ed. 1995) and its success may be gauged by the fact that a high proportion of its graduates have quickly found employment in the publishing industry. The Book Publishers Association of New Zealand also runs occasional seminars through its Local Publishing Forums.

Training for editors is also available in a variety of night school, continuing education and WEA contexts; and the journalism courses offered by the University of Canterbury, Wellington Polytechnic and elsewhere include training in many of the skills of book publishing. A number of courses are listed in First Edition.