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Pikihuia Awards: Winners honoured at prestigious Māori literature event


It’s the calendar event
that recognises the country’s best Maori writers. As Whatitiri Te Wake reports, the Pikihuia Awards judges say the calibre of the reo Maori writers
continues to grow each year. It only took her three weeks
to write her book. Yet Tiaho Fairhall’s
has taken out an award that recognises emerging writers
in Maori. Her winning work based
on traditional narrative. The story of Hatupatu,
of Ngatoroirangi, for Tamatekapua. They’re the examples
that inspire me in writing books. For this child of the north, and winner of the English section, many roads have had led her
to this stage. My teacher from Okaihau College said
to me back then, you need to be a writer, to which I replied,
whatever, Miss! The competition has six categories. Penny Smits says it’s an honour
to be recognised by her peers for her work. The Ministry of Education
is implementing strategies securing the future
of Maori writers. One of our challenges
is encouraging children to write, as well as creating programmes
to help our children to write. Scotty Morrison has said there needs to be
careful consideration around the way books
are crafted in the future. But for now, the language
and writing skills are excelling with these wordsmiths. Whatitiri Te Wake, Te Karere.

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