Three of New Zealand's most celebrated writers have been presented with Prime Minister's Awards for Literary Achievement.
Elizabeth Smither, Lloyd Jones and WH Oliver were each awarded $60,000 during a ceremony at Premier House, Prime Minister Helen Clark's residence in Wellington.
This year's award for poetry went to Smither, a New Plymouth-based writer, who is also well known for her novels and short stories.
Jones, author of the novel Mr Pip, which was shortlisted for Britain's Man Booker Prize in 2007, received the award for fiction.
Oliver, a poet and historian, was awarded the prize for non-fiction.
Miss Clark says their work reflects the nuances and subtleties of what it is to be a New Zealand writer.
The award was established in 2003 to recognise those who have made an enduring contribution to New Zealand literature.