The Sea, it Calls.

It’s the second day of Summer and the kids are swimming while I stand with my toes in the sea, enjoying the water lapping against my skin and dividing my gaze between the girls and the notebook I write this in.  It’s moments like these that I realize I should have pushed myself harder in … Continue reading The Sea, it Calls.

Why I Travelled Eight Hours in a Car to See a Lady I Don’t Know

“These are no ordinary watersWe are not ordinary beneficiaries. We are kaitiaki in the truest sense.We are tangata whenua.Anything that upsets these waters or interferes with their flow should never be permitted. ”Ron Wihongi, Ngawha Kaitiaki (1924-2016) My flatmate gave me a strange look as I opened the car door. ‘Why are you going there … Continue reading Why I Travelled Eight Hours in a Car to See a Lady I Don’t Know

Birth Pangs

I’ve been struggling with my writing lately. I’m working on a story set in the Hokianga in the 1950’s, based on true events that I am reshaping. Reimagining. I wasn’t there, obviously. James George (mentor): This is the strongest opening to any of the stories so far. Has real punch, and the economy, almost flatness … Continue reading Birth Pangs

Changing in Unexpected Ways

I’ve never been a very confident person. Even when I was very young I was timid. My little brother seemed to get all the courage, and he approached the world like it owed him – the world responded as if he was right. I envied him that, wished I could feel like I was worthy … Continue reading Changing in Unexpected Ways

It’s Moments Like These You Need Mentees

Te Papa Tupu Mentees 2018 L-R: Nadine Anne Hura, Colleen Maria Lenihan, Cassie Hart, Hone Rata, Ataria Rangipikitia Sharman, Shilo Kino A couple of weeks ago the Te Papa Tupu program held its second workshop. This time it was in conjunction with the National Writers Forum in Auckland. The lead up to it was pretty exciting, … Continue reading It’s Moments Like These You Need Mentees

A Void

It feels like I’m sending these journals into a void. Like an actual journal, for my eyes only, which is kinda freeing. I had writer’s block until recently. Prior to that, I wrote a short story about a Japanese piano teacher who goes on a surfing trip to deal with a broken heart.This melancholy tale … Continue reading A Void


I’ve known fora while now that my biggest weakness when it comes to writing is in the detail. I mumble through stories using broad strokes rather than a fine haired brush, and in doing so I lose something. Part of methought none of these details mattered because they have no relevance to readers outside of … Continue reading Specificity

Some Guidance Required

You know how I was saying that one day I might be able to introduce myself like this, “Hi, I’m Hone Rata. I’m an author”? The last month has shown me that while I might be able to say that, I can’t follow it up with “And I’m kinda good at it.” Because if I … Continue reading Some Guidance Required

What is Creative Non-fiction?

What’s creative non-fiction? What’s an essay? What’s the point of all this writing? These are the questions swimming around in my head right now. I began last month with a burst of energy and inspiration. I got out a bunch of books from the library and immersed myself in the genre of creative non-fiction. At … Continue reading What is Creative Non-fiction?

No Written Language

“Because the early Māori had no written language all we have to go on is oral tradition.” This is a quote from a book - it doesn’t really matter which one because we’ve all heard it a million times. The idea that Māori aren't literary because our language was never written down is something that’s … Continue reading No Written Language