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An image has been taken with a dreamy filter or a woman dancing in light purple lights. The filter refractions mean a mirror image of her appears on each side.

Parallel’s Kaupapa (values)

Parallel was founded on the kaupapa of hopeful curiosity, creative expression, and inclusive community.

Parallel is for everyone—no matter their race, age, ability, religion, neurotype, gender, or sexuality. And as an Aotearoa New Zealand business we are committed to being good Tangata Tiriti (people of the Treaty/Treaty partners) and always seeking to better understand and respect Te Ao Māori (the Māori World).

We believe that what we can imagine, we can create.

But we’re not just imagining a better world together—we’re doing the mahi (work) to make it real.

To build a better world for tomorrow we must acknowledge the world of today.

We must acknowledge that the publishing industry under which Parallel works has long been run by those who hold the most power in our society.

As such, this industry is a reflection of their beliefs, their ideals, and their world views. And despite a recent push for diversity in publishing, marginalised authors are still routinely disadvantaged in every way from editorial support, to marketing budgets, to pay parity.

We must acknowledge that our industry is also rooted in—and built on—environmentally taxing practices. 

Paper is publishing’s largest ecological expenses with the pulp and paper industry representing the world’s fourth largest energy-consuming industry. More and more books are printed on recycled materials but there are still trees that are felled and milled to make our books. And many of them are still covered in harmful plastic laminates.

But paper and plastic are just the start. 

Shipping and freight in the publishing industry has a uniquely detrimental ecological impact.

The book printing industry in Aotearoa New Zealand is relatively small, and books that aren’t printed locally are sea or air-freighted to our shores from Australia or overseas via centralised warehouses. 

In addition to this, booksellers can ship many of the unsold books they stock back to publishers who then ship them back to the printers. The unsold book is either pulped or recut, rejacketed and sent back out to bookstores (via the publisher) for resale. Many publishers only require the front and back covers of unsold books, which can reduce the carbon cost of shipping, but this also means the inside pages are likely to end up in the recycling bin.

All of this shipping back and forth between multiple parties across the globe—and the amount of unsold books that end up in landfill—contributes to the immense scale of wastefulness in the publishing industry. An industry that is centuries old and, as such, more deeply stuck in “business as usual” practices than some other global industries. 

Many publishers are beginning to make meaningful changes including using 100% renewable power, improving waste practices, and investing in data forecasting to reduce unsold stock. However, this is just the beginning of the transformative changes that need to be made within the publishing industry and the many other interconnected industries publishers work with.

Finally, we must acknowledge that Parallel doesn’t just mahi under the publishing industry but under capitalism.

An economic system that violently compels people to pay for access to basic human rights such as kai (food), water, and shelter. And that serves to provide more and more privilege to those who hold the most power in our society at the expense of those who hold the least.

It’s time for a different story

At Parallel, we’re collectively redreaming a more diverse and equitable industry.

One in which unique voices and marginalised authors can bring all that they offer to the table—from new perspectives, to fresh stories, to vibrant visions of a different future. 

We choose to put our power and humble platform at Parallel towards uplifting the voices of marginalised creators, connecting readers to their mahi, and offering solid proof to publishers that there is high demand for their pukapuka (books.)

We’re collectively redreaming a more sustainable industry.

One in which actively depleting our world’s natural resources is no longer the status quo. 

We choose practices that reduce our environmental impact over mass production, mass consumption, and mass profits at all environmental costs.

Finally, we’re collectively redreaming a more equitable and supportive economic system.

One in which all people have comfort, dignity, and access to basic human rights. 

We mediate the need to make enough money to keep the doors open with financial decisions that protect the rights, safety, dignity, and comfort of our community, staff, and contractors.

Our commitments

We’re not just dreaming, we’re doing.

These are our commitments, the actions we’re taking, and the mahi we’re doing to live our kaupapa and create the world of our collective redreaming.


Privacy and confidentiality
Any information that our customers or community provide to us—either casually in conversation or through our official store records—is kept completely private and confidential. This includes everything from your coffee order to your purchase history. 

We won’t ever discuss your identity or information to others in our community or outside of our team without express permission. And we won’t ever sell your data or information to outside parties.

Zero tolerance for hate
We have a zero tolerance policy for staff, contractors, suppliers, authors, creators, and anyone we work with expressing racist, ableist, sexist, or otherwise discriminatory views. 

We don’t stock pukapuka, collaborate with businesses, or otherwise support people who express these views or have kauapapa that are in direct conflict with those of Parallel and our community of in-betweeners.

We encourage robust and open discussion at hui (gatherings), events, and in our online spaces. But we don’t tolerate disrespect, hate, discrimination, bullying, or trolling of any kind in our community. Our hui, events, and online spaces are carefully moderated to make sure everyone is safe to share their voice and bring a different lived experience to the table. 

Content warnings
We are mindful about what we post on our website and social media. We publish content warnings when we can and when applicable. 

Please keep in mind that it’s not possible for us to rīti (read) every book on our shelves and fully screen each one for potential triggers. The Trigger Warning Database and Good Reads Trigger Warning Bookshelf are also useful resources to check for titles you may want to avoid.

If, in the course of your reading journey, you come across words, themes, or imagery that unsettle you or cause distress we recommend reaching out to friends and whānau or accessing one of these resources:

  • 1737 Is a free call and text service for any New Zealander feeling down, anxious, or overwhelmed who needs someone to talk with.
  • Youthline is a ‘with youth, for youth’ providing support to young New Zealanders ages 12-24 years. They offer a free Helpline service via text, phone, webchat & email, as well as face-to-face counselling and more.
  • NZ Relay helps to connect members of the Deaf community to services over the phone and has a dedicated page to help connect Deaf people to support.
  • OutLine has an all-ages free support line and chat support staffed by trained LGBTQIA+ volunteers, rainbow specialist counselling, and transgender peer support.
  • Vaka Tautua is a ‘by Pacific, for Pacific’ mental health, disability, and social services provider.
  • 0508 TAUTOKO or 0508 828 865 is a suicide crisis helpline operated by trained and experienced social service practitioners.

Protecting our community
Our team reserves the right to take whatever action we feel is necessary to protect the safety of our community and may take that action without prior warning. 

This could include removing titles and products from our stock, deleting online comments, blocking or banning online users, or asking people to leave our store or in-person hui.

You can ask questions or report anything you feel unsafe about or are worried by at


Meaningful representation and inclusion
We don’t just give a single shelf to “special interests” we center LGBTQIA+ / Queer, neurodivergent, Indigenous, disabled, and NZ voices, authors, creators, characters, and stories as a core offering to readers.

Our coffee house provides an inclusive alternative for folks of any age who want to connect outside of spaces that are centred around alcohol.

Enthusiastic support, promotion, and celebration
We share and promote news that may be relevant or important to our diverse community.

We support, promote, and participate in events that celebrate the diverse voices in our community, for example Pride and Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (Māori Language Week).

We include Te Reo alongside English where possible to encourage and normalise everyday use. We aim to learn together and are working towards increasing the use of Te Reo in store, on our website and social media, and at events as we grow.

Building our team and community
We believe community over competition thinking can help us create a friendlier, safer, and more open world. And we actively share and champion businesses that share our kaupapa.

We commit to building a team with diverse representation. We actively encourage all people to apply for employment opportunities at Parallel and ensure the application and selection process is equitable, accessible, and promoted on platforms and in communities that will attract diverse candidates.

Accessibility as standard
We consider accessibility needs and requirements as standard business practice in all of our decision-making.

Parallel Hombase and all Parallel’s physical spaces have been chosen and built with great thought and consideration given to accessibility, safety, and sensory impact. Our bookstore and coffee house is a single-level, ground floor space that has been designed using Universal Design principles.

We share photos and videos of our physical spaces so that people know what they can expect when they visit us. See photos of Parallel Homebase here.

We will offer sensory friendly shopping times after consulting with our community about days and times that would suit best.

We reject the idea that we should “accept” Covid as part of life and do our best to provide safe indoor air quality to help the high-risk members of our community to feel safe. We keep our doors and windows open when weather permits and always have Air2D2, our HEPA filter air purifier, running to reduce risk of spreading airborne respiratory illnesses.

Our online content is published with captions in videos, meaningful image descriptions and alternative text, appropriately sized fonts and colour contrasts, and accessible reading grade levels.

If you have an accessibility-related question or suggestion for our team you can email us at or contact us here.


Thoughtful ordering and stock control
We use data to decide what pukapuka—and how many—to stock. We run pre-orders for new releases. And we sell minimally damaged pukapuka at a discount. All in an effort to reduce the volume we ship back to publishers. 

Our packaging is fully recyclable, including paper-based labels, tape, and stickers. We’ve made it easy as for our customers—no need to pull cello tape off boxes before chucking them in the recycle bin! We also reuse packaging we’ve received in stock shipments whenever possible.

Local shipping only
We only ship within Aotearoa New Zealand. Bringing pukapuka that are printed internationally (which is most of them) into the country is a huge carbon cost. It doesn't make ecological sense to then ship them right back out of the country when folks can find those titles at their local indie bookstore.

Coffee house
We partner with Aotearoa New Zealand-based Kokako Organic Coffee Roasters to bring you a delicious and environmentally responsible brew. 

We partner with Again Again to offer reusable cup rentals in case you forget to bring your own! You can download the app, grab your kawhe (waste-free!), and you have a full 14 days to return it before you’re charged a lost cup fee.

We also only offer plant-based milks. The dairy industry puts massive ecological strain on Aotearoa New Zealand’s environment and choosing alternatives is a simple way we can help reduce that impact. We promise your kawhe will still be yummy as! We recommend tasting your brew before adding anything. We reckon you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

A white woman with freckles and a blunt fringe looks into the distance. Green and red distorted light falls around her for a sci-fi feel.
One of the Parallel Aotearoa (an nz book store) branded blob shapes. The brand shape filled with primary colours over a space sky texture.

This is just the start

We continue to dream, learn, grow, and mahi to live our kaupapa and create a better world. We published our commitments and actions here in April 2023. 

We audit and internally report on our progress against our commitments every year and will update this page as we learn and grow.

We’d love to hear about the world you want to create and how we can help. We also want to know when we get it wrong and how we can do better. 

You can send us your thoughts, questions, ideas and feedback here

Hopeful curiosity

What we can imagine, we can create.

Creative expression

Curating beautiful things and joyful experiences.

Inclusive community

Building a place where all belong.