AUT VC wins Ockham Book Award

17 May, 2024
AUT VC wins Ockham Book Award
Damon Salesa, winner of the General Non-Fiction Award for his work, An Indigenous Ocean, Pacific Essays (Photo: Lyndon at LK Creative)

Auckland University of Technology (AUT) Vice-Chancellor, Professor Damon Salesa, has won the General Non-Fiction Award for his work, An Indigenous Ocean: Pacific Essays in the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.

Category convenor of judges Jim Tully ONZM says Toeolesulusulu Damon Salesa’s seminal work asserts the Pacific’s ongoing impact worldwide, despite marginalisation by New Zealand and others, and will maintain its relevance for generations.

An Indigenous Ocean weaves together academic rigour, captivating stories and engaging prose to reframe our understanding of New Zealand’s colonial history in the South Pacific,” he says.

“This scholarly but highly accessible collection of essays carves out space for indigenous voices to tell their own narratives. Grounded in a deep understanding of Pacific history and cultures, Salesa addresses the contemporary social, political, economic, regional and international issues faced by Pacific nations.”

An Indigenous Ocean is published by Bridget Williams Books.

Book written by Damon Salesa

Other award winners include:

  • Emily Perkins MNZM – Jann Medlicott Acord Prize for Fiction for Lioness
  • Grace Yee – Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry for Chinese Fish
  • Gregory O’Brien MNZM - Booksellers Aotearoa New Zealand Award for Illustrated Non-Fiction for Don Binney: Flight Path
  • Tā Pou Temara KNZM – Te Mūrau o te Tuhi Māori Language Award for Te Rautakitahi O Tūhoe ki Ōrākau.

About the Awards

The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards are supported by Ockham Residential, Creative New Zealand, the late Jann Medlicott and the Acorn Foundation, Mary and Peter Biggs CNZM, Booksellers Aotearoa New Zealand, the Mātātuhi Foundation, and the Auckland Writers Festival.

The awards ceremony was hosted at the Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre in Aotea Centre, as part of the 2024 Auckland Writers Festival programme.