2010 Maori book awards

Big growth in interest in Māori book awards

Winners of the University's second annual Ngā Kupu Ora Māori Book Awards have been decided by public vote and include a Massey PhD candidate, an internationally renowned author and a book commemorating the Taranaki land wars.

Voting in the awards, held to coincide with Māori Language Week, closed last night and attracted more than double the number of votes as last year.

Awards organiser University Kaihautū Māori (Māori Library Services Manager) Spencer Lilley says the idea for book awards to recognise and celebrate Māori literature was a result of other major book awards failing to do so.

“It’s heartening to see the growing interest and the continuing high calibre of finalists, Mr Lilley says. “Although there were fewer categories than the six included at the inaugural awards last year it was pleasing to see that voting figures more than doubled.”

Books on Māori topics published between June last year and May 30 were selected as finalists in four categories: art, architecture and design; biography; history; and te reo Māori.

Massey PhD candidate and graduate Julie Paama-Pengelley is the winner of the award for art, architecture and design for her book Māori Art and Design: Weaving painting, carving and architecture, which traces the origins and evolution of art and design in historic Māori culture.

Internationally-acclaimed fiction writer Patricia Grace took out the biography award for her book Ned and Katina, the love story between Ned Nathan, a soldier in the 28th Māori Battalion and his wife Katina, whom he met in Crete in 1941.

Two of the winning books, the history and te reo Māori award winners, were published by Massey alumni Robyn and Brian Bargh of Huia Publishers in Wellington.

The history award was won by Contested Ground: Te Whenua i Tohea, The Taranaki Land Wars 1860-1881 edited by Kelvin Day and published to coincide with an exhibition commemorating the 150th anniversary of the outbreak of the wars.

The te reo Māori award was won by People of the Land: Images and Māori Proverbs of Aotearoa New Zealand written by Sir Hirini Moko Mead and Lady June Te Rina Mead. The book contains pepehā and imagery and is aimed at those wishing to gain an insight into Māori wisdom and values.

Winners will be celebrated at a ceremony to be held at the Manawatu campus on Māori Language Day, September 14.


Art, Architecture and Design

Māori Art and Design: Weaving, painting, carving and architecture by Julia Paama-Pengelly (New Holland).


Ned & Katina: A True Love Story by Patricia Grace (Penguin).


Contested Ground: Te Whenua i Tohea. The Taranaki Wars, 1860-1881 by Kelvin Day (Puke Ariki New Plymouth District Council/TSB Community Trust/Huia Publishers).

Te Reo Māori

People of the Land: Images and Māori Proverbs of Aotearoa New Zealand by Sir Hirini Moko Mead and June Mead (Huia Publishers).

2009 Ngā Kupu Ora - Māori Book Awards

For information about last year's winners see 2009 Ngā Kupu Ora - Māori Book Awards.

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