Books-a-plenty in Palmerston North

23 May 2024

The Palmerston North Book Sale is one of the biggest community fundraisers for New Zealand Red Cross. Every year, for more than 30 years, the community gets together each King’s Birthday Weekend to fill three halls with books, jigsaws, DVDs and CDs.

The first fundraiser, in the early 1990s, raised $1,000 for New Zealand Red Cross thanks to the hard work of a small group of volunteers. The group, which included long-time contributor, Jill Spicer and future Mayor of Palmerston North, Heather Tanguay, was held in a marquee in the back garden of a local Red Cross building.

The popularity, driven in no small part by the determination of the committed group of volunteers, can no longer be contained in a small marquee. As the number of books has grown, so has the space needed to house them. It now encompasses three halls, coordinated and organised by an army of community groups, schools and people from across the province.

Volunteers begin setting up a week before the event, relocating more than 4,000 boxes of books (each weighing roughly 15kg) for a combined total of close to 60 tonnes.

Supporters and helpers from Palmerston North Boys’ High School, Tai Wānanga Tū Toa, and New Kiwis Youth Group (made up of former refugees who have settled in the area) all contribute to getting the book sale set up.

Reinforcements come from students from two different language schools, many of them former refugees who help out as a way to give back to New Zealand Red Cross.

The community bands together to keep all volunteers fed throughout the four days, with local businesses such as Yoplait, Dominos and Chilli Box donating food.

All money raised goes towards New Zealand Red Cross. We are grateful to all the volunteers – and the supporters – who make the Palmerston North Red Cross Annual Book Sale the must-attend event that it is.

Event details

Event: Palmerston North Red Cross Annual Book Sale

Date: Friday 31 May - Monday 3 June. Doors open from 10.00am.

Location: Barber Hall, Waldegrave Street, Palmerston North

View our book sale details on Eventfinda