This report characterizes the size and scope of the New Zealand presence in the published record, highlights some of its salient characteristics, and describes its diffusion around the world.
Despite its small size and relatively brief national history, New Zealand boasts a distinguished presence in the published record. Authors such as Margaret Mahy and Katherine Mansfield; the renowned soprano Kiri Te Kanawa; and contemporary film icons such as the actor Russell Crowe and producer Peter Jackson are just a few of the well-known names associated with New Zealand’s creative tradition, along with internationally acclaimed works such as the Oscar-nominated film Whale Rider and the Booker Prize-winning novel The Bone People. New Zealand’s presence in the published record includes many other individuals and works — some widely known, others less so — adding up to a significant contribution to the global corpus of published materials. Indeed, just as New Zealand’s iconic kiwi birds lay the largest egg in proportion to their size of any bird species in the world 1, the New Zealand contribution to the published record too seems outsized in comparison to the nation’s small geography and population.