Poetry Archive of New Zealand Aotearoa (PANZA)


PANZA is an original idea developed by Paekakariki poet/publisher/bookseller Michael O’Leary in 1999. Niel Wright has written an early history of the archive (see The Early History of the Poetry Archive of New Zealand Aotearoa, 2010 – the National Library in Wellington holds a copy).

PANZA’s collection has been in progress for the last ten years and a considerable archive has been collected in that time. (Click to read an article about the beginnings of the archive, PDF 380KB)

From 2006-2008 PANZA received public funding to assist the popular poetry series of “Winter Readings” at the City Gallery through the Wellington City Council and Creative NZ’s Creative Communities Scheme. It has now moved into setting up its archive in a more publicly accessible format.

Around 5,000 titles are in PANZA’s online catalogue. Depositors to the Archive include Niel Wright (Original Books), Mark Pirie (HeadworX Publishers), the late poet/anthologist Harvey McQueen, Helen Rickerby (Seraph Press), Alistair Paterson (Auckland, editor of Poetry NZ), poet John Ellis (New Plymouth), Roger Steele (Steele Roberts), Cecilia Johnson and Michael O’Leary (Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop).

The Poetry Archive is situated in a brand new weatherproof garage in Northland, Wellington.

A reader’s table, paper, pencils, and comfortable reading chairs are provided for those wishing to read material during their visit to the Archive.

A ‘wall of fame’ surrounds the Archive’s collection of New Zealand poetry. Many well-known New Zealand poets such as Hone Tuwhare, Bill Manhire, Janet Frame, Katherine Mansfield, James K. Baxter, Glenn Colquhoun, Martyn Sanderson, Louis Johnson, Alistair and Meg Campbell, L E Scott, Ruth Gilbert, Alistair Paterson, Harry Ricketts and Richard Von Sturmer are represented on its walls. The wall will continue to be added to in the future.

A visitors’ book is also kept for visitors to sign.

PANZA contains

A unique archive of New Zealand published poetry, with around 5,000 titles from the 19th century to the present day.

The archive also contains photos and paintings of New Zealand poets, publishers’ catalogues, poetry ephemera, posters, reproductions of book covers and other memorabilia related to New Zealand poetry and poetry performance.


NZ poetry books (old & new)

Other NZ poetry items i.e. critical books on NZ poetry, anthologies of NZ poetry, poetry periodicals and broadsheets, poetry event programmes, posters and/or prints of NZ poets or their poetry books.



PANZA will offer:

  • Copies of NZ poetry books for private research and reading purposes.
  • Historical information for poets, writers,  journalists, academics, researchers and independent scholars of NZ poetry.
  • Photocopying for private research purposes.
  • Books on NZ poetry and literary history, and CD-ROMs of NZ poetry and literature.
  • CDs of NZ poets reading their work.

Friends of the Poetry Archive of New Zealand Aotearoa

You can assist the preservation of NZ poetry by becoming one of the Friends of the Poetry Archive of New Zealand Aotearoa (PANZA).

If you’d like to become a friend or business sponsor of PANZA, please contact us.

Contact Details

Poetry Archive of NZ Aotearoa (PANZA)

1 Woburn Road, Northland, Wellington

Dr Niel Wright – Archivist
(04) 475 8042

email: judithmwright@outlook.com

Dr Michael O’Leary – Archivist
(04) 905 7978

email: olearymichael154@gmail.com

Visits welcome by appointment

Current PANZA Members: Mark Pirie (HeadworX), Roger Steele (Steele Roberts Ltd), Michael O’Leary (Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop) and Niel Wright (Original Books).

Current PANZA Friends: New Zealand Poetry Society and Paul Thompson.

PANZA is a registered charitable trust.