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2023 Baysting Prize for Children's Champion goes to Duffy Books in Homes

Story Published Thursday 4 May 2023

In 2019, APRA AMCOS NZ announced a new award to be presented at the Children’s Music Awards Ngā Manu Tīrairaka. The Baysting Prize for Children’s Champion is in honour of the late Arthur Baysting - a well-known children’s author, songwriter and advocate who has championed children’s content creators in Aotearoa on behalf of our tamariki, working to provide kiwi kids with accessible art of all varieties that reflects their home and culture, while also inspiring and educating.

The Baysting Prize is presented to an individual, group, or organisation each year who has made a significant and outstanding contribution to the development and wellbeing of New Zealand children, through the creation of or support for music, TV programmes, films, live shows, books, education, or advocacy.

In 2023, the Baysting Prize for Children’s Champion is going to Duffy Books in Homes.

Founded in 1993 by Alan Duff, Duffy Books in Homes vision was simple – to inspire a love of books in children and to break the cycle of booklessness. The key concept of book ownership specifically targeted those children from higher EQI schools, prompting an interest in reading and a love of books, allowing the opportunity to share the books with other family members.

Launching officially in 1995 with key partner Mainfreight, they began with 80 schools. Now managed by Linda Vagana and a passionate dedicated team, the programme has now grown to encompass over 549 schools and over 263 early childhood centres. Over 90,000 children every year receive 6 books each provided by partnership between schools, funding partners and Ministry of Education with ongoing supporters and donors.

2024 will see Duffy celebrating 30 years since launching, Duffy Books in Homes has now surpassed delivering 15 million books into the hands of tamariki across Aotearoa and inspired offshoot programmes in Australia and the USA. In 1996 also saw the introduction of the Westpac Theatre Show which travels to over 500 schools from North Cape to Bluff bringing the Duffy message to life with a live 45-minute show.

“Over the last almost 30 years Duffy Books in Homes has determinedly, passionately, and very simply, gone about developing and delivering a program that has led to generations of young New Zealander’s having a love of reading and books. The outcomes of these programs and the impact of a love of reading in young people is immeasurable. We know that this kaupapa is one Arthur held close to his heart, and worked towards himself, throughout his life” says Anthony Healey, APRA AMCOS NZ Head of Operations.

General Manager of 18 years, Linda Vagana says “We are absolutely delighted with the acknowledgement in selecting Duffy Books in Homes programme for the 2023 Baysting Prize. We are honoured to be recognised in this wonderful opportunity, made available by the legacy that is Arthur Baysting”.

Congratulations to Duffy Books in Homes, all their team both past and present, their partners, collaborators and supporters. The award will be formally presented at the Children’s Music Awards | Ngā Manu Tīrairaka on Sunday 7 May at the Tuning Fork, Spark Arena.

The annual awards for Best Children’s Music Song | Te Korokoro Tūi, Best Children’s Music Video | Te Huia Kaimanawa, and Recorded Music New Zealand Te Kaipuoro Waiata Tamariki Toa | Best Children’s Music Artist will also be presented, as part of a show presented by Suzy Cato.

2023 finalists