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Creative writing lecturer, Dr Tina Makereti has an ambitious vision – to see Māori literature recognised as a unique field of its own. The award winning author says people are always surprised to hear that there’s no degree in Māori literature. “In fact there are only a handful of academics working in the field in New Zealand and in fact a lot of published research comes from overseas researchers some of whom have never been to the country.”
Dr Makereti says she’s looking forward to the chance to contribute new research into indigenous creative writing along with teaching in the School of English and Media Studies. “There is a huge deficit in academic research in Māori and Pacific writing in particular. It’s no wonder young people aren’t drawn to study if they don’t see their own literature reflected.” She says New Zealand literature courses touch on indigenous writers but she’d like to see programmes that truly engage with matauranga Māori – Māori understanding and knowledge.
Dr Makareti has a host of awards to her name, including twice winning the Ngā Kupu Ora Māori Book Award for fiction for her short story collection Once Upon a Time in Aotearoa (Huia 2011) and her first novel Where the Rēkohu Bone Sings (Vintage 2014).
While her PhD in Creative Writing was completed at Victoria University, Ms Makareti did a PGDip in Māori Studies at Massey University in 2007 and has guest lectured at Massey in the past. She will be based on the Manawatū campus.
Dr Makereti says she’s looking forward to getting students excited about writing and says she’ll be aiming to surprise them. “People have preconceived ideas about creative writing but good writing is surprising and I’ll be looking for things that surprise and get you to look again.”
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Last updated on Monday 27 May 2019