Whiti Hereaka

Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Te Arawa

is a playwright, novelist, screenwriter and a barrister and solicitor. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing (Scriptwriting) from the International Institute of Modern Letters, Victoria University and is a trustee of the Māori Literature Trust.


Whiti Hereaka has had many plays produced for the stage, and in 2012 she won the Bruce Mason Award. She has won several awards for her scriptwriting, including Best New Play by a Māori Playwright, Adam Play Awards in 2010 for Te Kaupoi and again in 2011 for Rona and Rabbit on the Moon.

She has also held a residency at the Michael King Writers’ Centre in 2012 and 2017 and was International Writing Programme Writer in Residence, University of Iowa, in 2013. In 2007, she was the writer in residence at Randell Cottage and wrote her first novel, The Graphologist’s Apprentice, which was shortlisted for Best First Book in the Commonwealth Writers Prize South East Asia and Pacific 2011.

Her second novel, Bugs, won the Honour Award, Young Adult Fiction, New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, 2014, and the Storylines Notable Book Award, Senior Fiction, 2014.

Her third novel, Legacy, won the award for Best Young Adult Fiction at the 2019 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.

Currently, Whiti is working on her new novel Kurangaituku based on the story of Hatupatu and the birdwoman.


Legacy (2019)
Bugs (2014)
The Graphologist’s Apprentice (2011)


Best New Play by a Māori Playwright (2010)
Adam Play Awards (2010, 2011)
Shortlisted for Best First Book (2011)
Honour Award, Young Adult Fiction (2014)
Storylines Notable Book Award, Senior Fiction (2014)
Best Young Adult Fiction (2019)


Te Whanganui-a-Tara, New Zealand

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