Joan Rosier-Jones, chair of the Whanganui Literary Festival Trust, welcomed people to the 10th Biennial Whanganui Literary Festival on Friday, September 29.
Mayor Andrew Tripe told the audience that the festival began in 2006 with local authors, and in 2007 introduced other authors from around New Zealand.
“That has been the focus ever since,” he said. “The literary scene in New Zealand is rich and varied. This event is a showcase for New Zealand authors.
“The legacy of Whanganui is immense - the Whanganui War Memorial Centre [where the festival was held] is one of the top 1000 listed buildings in the world.
“Whanganui is creative, we were designated at the end of last year, a Unesco City of Design, the only city in New Zealand to ever have that.
“Weaved into our design, is our creative side, and our history that’s been proven over time through many genres of creativity, including writing, the arts, and our business creativity. Whanganui punches above its weight in a lot of different areas.
“Joan Rosier-Jones started this back in 2006. Writers such as James K. Baxter, Janet Frame, Robin Hyde, John A Lee, have all spent time beside the awa - it must have some creative flow in it,” he said.
Authors at the festival included: Chris Tse, Sue McCauley, Stephen Davis, Stephanie Johnson, Witi Ihimaera, Fiona Sussman, Jock Phillips and Gordon Collier.