Māori Book Award finalists announced

Some of the finalists in the 2016 Ngā Kupu Ora Awards:Celebrating Māori Books and Journalism


An exciting range of books have been named as finalists in Massey University’s Ngā Kupu Ora Awards: Celebrating Māori Books and Journalism.

Patricia Grace’s first novel in 10 years sees the internationally-acclaimed writer return to the awards with her new book Chappy. Ms Grace won the biography award in 2010 for her WWII love story Ned and Katina. Chappy is another love story, this time between a young man’s Māori grandmother and Japanese grandfather. Also in the Te Tuhinga Auaha - Creative Writing category is Waitapu, a collection of short stories from award-winning writer Helen Waaka.

The Te Reo section illustrates the growing resource for language learners. Broadcaster Scotty Morrison caters for beginners with his latest book Māori Made Easy, while He Iti Kahurangi by Hēni Jacob hones advanced speakers in the nuances of grammar. Language experts Agnes McFarland and Taiarahia Black return for the second year in a row to the awards with the third in a series, Toitū te Whare, an edited collection of articles from 10 reo academics at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi. 

Massey University Māori language lecturer and judge Dr Darryn Joseph says it is exciting to see Māori language books aimed at every level. “All three finalists in Te Reo Māori were topical for different reasons: increasing Māori language speakers; improving Māori language speech and recording Māori language and cultural activities." Dr Joseph says. "Each book had its strengths this year and could have been the winner.”

The Te Kōrero Pono - Non-Fiction section features a variety of topics from food security to working with Māori children and leadership training.

In all, there are 13 finalists spread over five categories, which include Te Kōrero o Mua/Te Haurongo – History/Biography and Te Mahi Toi – Arts.

University Assistant Vice Chancellor Māori and Pasifika Dr Selwyn Katene says 2016 marks a milestone for the awards, which are now in their eighth year. “The expansion of the awards to include journalism means we can truly celebrate Māori storytelling in its many forms and further promote Ngā Kupu Ora’s original kaupapa of recognising excellence in Māori books and now journalism.” Dr Katene says.

He says Massey University is delighted with the growing support for Ngā Kupu Ora from sponsors such as Te Puni Kōkiri and MediaWorks. For the first time the awards evening is being held in Auckland in conjunction with Tāmaki Paenga Hira, the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

The winners of the book and journalism categories will be announced at the awards dinner at the Auckland Museum Event Centre on October 3.
The full list of finalists is:-

Te Mahi Toi - Arts

Māori Art:  History, Architecture, Landscape and Theory  

Author: Rangihiroa Panoho

In Pursuit of Venus

Author: Lisa Reihana

Toi Awe, Toi Iro, Toi Hanga, Toi Hua

Editor: Kereti G. Rautangata

Te Kōrero o Mua/Te HaurongoHistory/Biography

Maiea Te Tupua          

Author: Tom Roa, Maehe Paki

Te Whiti o Rongomai and the Resistance of Parihaka

Author: Danny Keenan


Te Tuhinga Auaha - Creative Writing


Author: Patricia Grace


Author: Helen Margaret Waaka


Te Kōrero Pono - Non-Fiction    

Te Mahi Māra Hua Parakore: A Māori Sovereignty Food Handbook

Author: Jessica Hutchings

Wayfinding Leadership: Ground-breaking Wisdom for Developing Leaders

Author: Dr Chellie Spiller, Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr and John Panoho

Working with Māori children with special education needs

Author:Jill Bevan-Brown, Mere Berryman, Huhana Hickey, Sonja Macfarlane, Kirsten Smiler and Tai Walker


Te Reo Māori – Māori Language

Māori Made Easy: For Everyday Learners of the Māori Language   

Author: Scotty Morrison

He Iti Kahurangi

Author: Hēni Jacob

Toitū Te Whare

Author: Agnes McFarland, Taiarahia Black