Frequently asked questions

Maori book awards What are the Ngā Kupu Ora Māori Book Awards?

The Ngā Kupu Ora Māori Book Awards were inaugurated during Māori Language Week 2009 and comprised six categories: Art, Architecture and Design; Biography; History; Sport and Recreation; Te Reo Māori and Book of the Decade.

Are there other Māori Book Awards?

There are Māori categories in other book awards. This is the only set of book awards focussed solely on Māori books.

Who runs the Ngā Kupu Ora Māori Book Awards?

The awards have been organised by Massey University and are the brainchild of Spencer Lilley, Kaihautū Māori (Māori library services manager). Spencer and his library colleague Sheeanda Field short-listed the books and ran the on-line voting system. The awards event has been supported by the University as a whole and will be hosted by Professor Taiarahia Black at the School of Māori Studies.

Why is an awards event being held?

The response to the awards was overwhelmingly positive and led to a decision to hold an awards event to recognise the excellence in Māori literature.

Why is the event being held on Māori Language Day?

It was decided to hold the Ngā Kupu Ora Māori Book Awards on Māori Language Day, September 14, in memory of the efforts made by members of Ngā Tama Toa in 1972 when a petition containing 30,000 signatures was presented to parliament calling for Māori language to be taught in all secondary schools.

How were the finalists selected?

Books must have been published in 2008 or 2009. All books on Māori topics are eligible.

What were the criteria for the book of the decade category?

As 2009 was the inaugural year for these awards, eligibility for the Māori book of the decade was restricted to works published in the year 2000, and that had been shortlisted or winners in other book awards nationally.

Why wasn’t there an award for fiction?

Due to the lack of Māori fiction books published in 2008 or 2009, a fiction award was not offered this year.

How were the winners decided in each category?

The winners were decided by public vote using an on-line voting system.

When is the awards event?

The awards event was held at 5.30pm on Māori Language Day, September 14 at Te Pütahi-ā-Toi (the School of Māori Studies) at the Manawatu campus.

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