The Principles of the Trust

The BWB Publishing Trust was established in late 2006, to support the development, writing, commissioning and publication of New Zealand non-fiction books by Bridget Williams Books Limited. The following principles have been developed by the Trustees:

  • The Trust will, in the first instance, support BWB's publishing in the specific areas of history, politics, contemporary issues, reference, Māori studies and women’s issues. Other areas of non-fiction, such as art and natural history, may also receive support where they are within the scope of BWB’s publishing policy.
  • The Trustees are independent, with power of appointment vested in Bridget Williams.
  • The Trustees’ primary role is to approve applications for grants made by the Trust and to oversee allocation of Trust funds to appropriate projects or uses.
  • BWB will remain wholly independent in editorial matters including selection of authors and titles.
  • No Trustee nor Bridget Williams can be a beneficiary of the Trust. The final beneficiary, when the Trust is wound up, is the Alexander Turnbull Library Endowment Trust.
  • BWB will make application to the Trust for distributions from general funds or from specific grants. All distributions will be made at the sole discretion of the Trustees and according to agreed policy and objectives.

Financial Information 

  • The Trust is not registered as a charitable trust, and donations to the Trust are not usually tax-exempt. 
  • It is possible for donors to offer grants by means of a third-party charitable trust that shares similar objectives. 
  • For project budgets or financial information relating to the Trust, please contact the Trust’s administrator (see contact information).


  • Unless otherwise agreed, all donors will be acknowledged (a) on the project for which a grant is provided; (b) on the Trust website; (c) on the Trust brochure.   Anonymous donors are also gratefully acknowledged in these places.

Hugh Rennie, QC, writes: ‘Nations need their voices, and books are those voices. New Zealand needs many more books of the quality that BWB has published, and the authors who work with Bridget Williams have written. This is vital to the growth and maturing of our society. I have helped to set up the BWB Publishing Trust so that we can make sure that all this happens.’

Professor Charlotte Macdonald speaks as a historian of ‘the escalating value of the local story, local owner and local control at a time of ever-widening connections’ and the importance of ‘books of record, of critical edge, books that tell significant – and sometimes otherwise untold – stories.’

A founding donor comments: ‘Serious non-fiction is essential to an open society’s intellectual life; the books of BWB encompass some of the most challenging thinking on New Zealand’s past and present in our times. Yet the economics of publishing such books are becoming increasingly unfavourable. I am glad to support this Trust.’