Dunedin is a step
closer to becoming New Zealand's official home of literature.
With the push of a button, Mayor Dave Cull yesterday emailed
the application for the city to become a Unesco City of
If successful the bid would designate the city a literary
centre, alongside Edinburgh, Melbourne, Iowa City, Dublin,
Reykjavik, Norwich and Krakow. A successful bid would be a
''great marketing opportunity and a great connector'' for the
city, Mr Cull said.
''There's only allowed to be one Unesco City [of Literature]
per country, so it establishes Dunedin as the literary city
of New Zealand,'' he said.
Dunedin's status as a City of Literature would provide
another link to sister city Edinburgh, the first City of
Literature, and would promote the city's ''inheritance'' of
Scotland's literary tradition, he said.
''This is where the literary origins of our country, in
European times, started and it's gone from there. There's no
other city [in New Zealand] more appropriate.''
University of Otago vice-chancellor Prof Harlene Hayne said
the status would bring benefits to the city and the
''It will be great marketing, but it will be more than
marketing because it has teeth,'' she said.
Bid management committee spokeswoman Liz Knowles said
yesterday was an ''exciting day'' for the city.
The six other Cities of Literature were ''right behind''
Dunedin's bid and had written letters of support, she said.
''Dunedin is a fantastic city for writers.
''It's a very supportive city for writers, but also for
''We have a million people visit the library every year,'' Ms
The outcome of the bid will be announced in November.