The Walk consists of quotations from the writings of 23 authors past and contemporary, including poets, novelists, and playwrights. It celebrates and commemorates the place of Wellington in these writers’ lives, and their place in the life of Wellington. Besides providing recognition to some of New Zealand’s most noted writers, the Walk promotes New Zealand literature to a wider public, particularly tourists and visitors to the capital.

History of the Walk

The Wellington Writers Walk is a project of the Wellington Branch of the New Zealand Society of Authors Te Puni Kaituhi o Aotearoa (PEN NZ) Inc.

It was opened during New Zealand Post Writers and Readers Week, part of the International Festival of the Arts, on 11 March 2002. The first series of 11 concrete plaques were designed by Catherine Griffiths, who was awarded the Terry Stringer Award at the BEST Design Awards 2002 for her work on the sculptures.

Stage Two of the concrete plaques was launched on 8 May 2004, and in 2009 four benchmarks designed by Fiona Christeller were added to the Walk, bringing it to a total of 19 plaques and benchmarks.

In 2012, New Zealand was Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair, and the Wellington Writers Walk played a starring role, with large decals of the quotations appearing alongside the River Main.

A further four benchmarks designed by Fiona Christeller were unveiled on 20 March 2013. We have been honoured to have our plaques and benchmarks launched by successive Governors-General of New Zealand, our valued patrons.

Note: texts are shown as originally published so some words in te reo Māori may not include macrons.

Making the sculptures

The Wellington Writers Walk quotations are a combination of bold concrete plaques and more subtle ‘benchmarks’ with metal text inlaid into existing timber structures. The plaques have been designed by the internationally renowned typographer Catherine Griffiths and the benchmarks, three of them seats, by award-winning Wellington architect Fiona Christeller.

The Wellington Writers Walk committee is grateful to Catherine Griffiths and Fiona Christeller for their inspiration and work as designers and for the work of their production and installation teams in realising the vision for the Walk.


Many sponsors and volunteers have contributed their time, expertise and money to allow the Wellington Writers Walk to enhance our picturesque harbour environment.

The Wellington Writers Walk management committee acknowledges our partner organisations: The New Zealand Society of Authors Te Puni Kaituhi o Aotearoa (PEN NZ) Inc and Wellington City Council.