The familiar chime of the Harry Potter theme song greeted Rotorua fans as they waited with anticipation to get their hands on the eighth and final instalment of the famed wizard's magical journey.

Today McLeod's Booksellers staff had butterbeer cupcakes, a themed photo booth and a live, acoustic rendition of the Harry Potter theme music as the 11am embargo lifted and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child officially hit the shelves.

The bookstore was buzzing with groups of adults and children shuffling around distractedly waiting for the clock to tick over and the boxes to be opened.

McLeod's had about 60 pre-orders for the book, which is the script of the West End play and tells the story of Harry Potter and his friends 19 years after the Battle of Hogwarts.


"This puts Harry in his 30s, married with children and struggling as an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic. This book is the next instalment keeping the wizarding world franchise going," Mike Byrne of McLeod's said.

 Brittany McEwen buys the first copy of the new Harry Potter book at McLeods Booksellers. Photo/Ben Fraser
Brittany McEwen buys the first copy of the new Harry Potter book at McLeods Booksellers. Photo/Ben Fraser

"There was a global embargo on the publication so it's quite lucky really because fans in New Zealand are the first to get their hands on a copy.

"People of all ages - from pre-teens to boomers - will be picking up on it."

Brittany McEwen was the first person at McLeod's to be handed over the yellow and gold hardcover book.

She said she was both excited and apprehensive about reading it.

"I can't wait to read it, I've lost count the amount of times I've read the whole series. But it's for that reason I'm a little worried too because I desperately don't want this book to ruin the others.

Related articles:

"The characters in Harry Potter are all so relatable and it's the way the books are written that have made them so successful. I'd read a Harry Potter book over something like Twilight any day."

Another fan, 9-year-old Josh Brierley said his favourite part about the Harry Potter saga was the magic.

"I've read all the books about five times now, I started reading the series when I was about 7. I think this book will take less than a week to read.

"I love Harry Potter, I love the magic, so I was incredibly excited when I found out another book was being released."