Review of the Public Lending Right for New Zealand Authors

A review of the Public Lending Right for New Zealand Authors started in March 2020. An issues paper is available that presents the results of targeted consultation.

What is the Public Lending Right scheme?

The Public Lending Right for New Zealand Authors scheme (PLR) was established in 2008, replacing the New Zealand Authors’ Fund established in 1973.

The PLR provides payments for New Zealand authors, in recognition that their books are available for use in New Zealand libraries.

The PLR annual fund of $2.4 million is divided among registered authors, based on how many copies of their works are held by libraries and if they meet the eligibility requirements of the Act.

The PLR is administered by the National Library under the Public Lending Right for New Zealand Authors Act 2008 (the Act) and associated Regulations. The National Library is part of the Department of Internal Affairs.

More information about the PLR

Why are we doing this review?

A Department of Internal Affairs’ regulatory review in 2019 identified a need for improvement in multiple areas of the Public Lending Right scheme. The findings of the regulatory review have been endorsed by the PLR Advisory Group.

The New Zealand Society of Authors has also publicly lobbied for improvements to the PLR.

What are we reviewing?

The review is looking at the PLR’s operational procedures.

Read the terms of reference for the review (pdf, 245KB)

What has happened so far?

Online surveys

During March and April 2020, sector stakeholders and individuals who had previously registered for the PLR scheme were contacted to participate in online surveys. Over 540 responses were received from individual respondents including authors, illustrators, editors, librarians and publishers. Key stakeholders from across the sector also responded to the professional bodies online survey.


Consultants have worked closely with the New Zealand Society of Authors, New Zealand libraries and conducted interviews with other key stakeholders across the sector to ask them about their experience of the PLR. This was to gain a better understand of how the PLR operates in practice, the key issues of the scheme and identify opportunities for change.

Issues Paper

An issues paper has been produced that presents the results of a targeted consultation with key stakeholders about issues associated with New Zealand’s Public Lending Right (PLR) scheme, its policy intent, regulations, design, and administration. The paper also provides some initial signals towards developing future options for the PLR scheme’s enhancement.

Read the Review of the Public Lending Right Scheme Issues Paper June 2020 (pdf, 2.5MB)

What is happening now?

The Department is currently looking at ways to make the PLR more efficient and easier for authors to engage with through regulatory and operational changes. The review is not seeking to make changes to legislation and there is no broader review planned. There will be an update with more details later this year.

If the review proposes significant changes to the PLR, the Act or the Regulations there will be public consultation before any decisions are made.

How do I know what’s happening?

You can keep up to date with what's happening on this page on the National Library website.

Any questions?

You can email us if you have questions about the review of the Public Lending Right scheme at

Page updated 29 June 2022