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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Hachette flees New Zealand

Well, it seems that the biggest publisher in the world can't hack it here any more.

Book company Hachette says fast growth in eBooks and overseas buying are behind its sudden retreat from New Zealand shores.

Ever since Hachette bought specialty publisher Moa Hodder, the company has been a major presence here.  Not only has it kept up tradition by publishing books about sports and sports stars, but it has also promoted local novelists, such as Paul Thomas and Nicky Pellagrino.

But a fast-changing world has changed the face of publishing here, as well as overseas.  Hachette's Australia and New Zealand chairman, Malcolm Edwards, announced "with great sadness" that restructuring has led to the decision to close the New Zealand arm after the 2013 list is published.

Jobs have gone -- big jobs. The MD, Kevin Chapman, editorial director Warren Adler, and financial controller Rick Groufsky, have been handed notices, and 12 others are expected to go.

"I am grateful to them for agreeing to stay until the restructuring is completed," said Mr. Edwards.

It's part of a continuing story for publisher row on the North Shore of Auckland. Last month HarperCollins announced the closure of its New Zealand distribution network, and just about all other major publishers have moved their warehousing to Australia.

It's all part of a huge revolution -- one in which small, international cooperative presses like our own Old Salt Press promise to flourish.

1 comment:

Caron Eastgate Dann said...

It's really strange, given that wages are much smaller in NZ than Australia. It's sad, also: but perhaps this will be an opportunity for new niche publishers in NZ (she says, wildly trying to find something—anything—positive to hang on to).