Meet the Judges
Best Short Story English
Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Te Arawa
Whiti Hereaka is a playwright, novelist, screenwriter and a barrister and solicitor. In 2007, Whiti was the writer in residence at Randell Cottage, Wellington, where she wrote The Graphologist’s Apprentice, shortlisted for Best First Book in the 2011 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Asia and Pacific. In 2010 and 2011, she won Best New Play by a Māori Playwright at the Adam Play Awards. In 2012, she won the Bruce Mason Award, held the summer residency at the Michael King Writers’ Centre and was selected for Te Papa Tupu writers’ incubator programme. Her second novel, Bugs, was published in 2013. In 2016, Whiti mentored two writers in Te Papa Tupu, and she is currently on the board of the Māori Literature Trust.
Best Short Story Māori
Tūhoe, Ngāti Manawa, Te Arawa
Poia Rewi is a professor and Dean of Te Tumu, School of Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies, University of Otago. He is co-principal investigator of Te Kura Roa, a Ngā Pae o Te Māramatanga funded Pae Tawhiti initiative that examines the value of the Māori language and state and community responsiveness to Māori language revitalisation efforts. Poia leads the Waiaro project on state responsiveness. His main areas of research and teaching are te reo Māori, tikanga Māori, Māori oratory and Māori history.
Professor Rawinia Higgins is Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Māori) at Victoria University. She is a widely acknowledged expert on the revitalisation of te reo Māori, has strong relationships with Māori communities and agencies and provides strategic advice that has influenced Māori policy development. Rawinia has held many roles on boards, advisory groups and working parties during her career. She is currently a board member of Te Mātāwai, Ngā Pae o Te Māramatanga and a member of the Waitangi Tribunal. She chaired the Māori Language Advisory Group for the Minister for Māori Development, which influenced and shaped the Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Act 2016.
In addition, Rawinia is Deputy Chair of the Tertiary Education Commission’s Māori Knowledge and Development PBRF (Performance-Based Research Fund) panel.
Best Short Film Script
Ngāti Raukawa, Te Ati Haunui ā Pāpārangi
Julian Arahanga is a film maker, actor and director of Awa Films. He has had a prolific career working both in front of and behind the camera. Behind the scenes, he has worked in the art and camera departments, as a producer, (including co-producing award-winning Fish Skin Suit), and as a director, including directing Songs from the Inside, Behind the Brush, episodes of The New Migration, Turangaarere: The John Pohe Story and Dancing in the Sky. As an actor, he starred in Once Were Warriors and Broken English. He has also had roles in The Matrix, What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?, The Ferryman, Fracture, Eagle Versus Shark, Toy Boy and in episodes of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and The Lost World.
Best Novel Extract
Ngāti Wai, Ngāti Whātua
Paula Morris is an award-winning novelist, short story writer and essayist. She writes fiction for adults and young adults, and her short fiction has appeared in journals and collections and been produced on radio. She has been awarded writing residencies and fellowships in Italy, Denmark, Belgium and Latvia and been a guest at festivals in Europe, China, the United States and New Zealand. Paula worked in Britain and the United States as a publicist, in marketing, as a branding consultant and copywriter. Since 2003, she has taught creative writing at universities, including Tulane in New Orleans and Sheffield in England. She is the convenor of the Master in Creative Writing course at the University of Auckland and the founder of the Academy of New Zealand Literature.
Best Short Story by a School Student in English
Te Arawa, Ngāti Awa
For over twenty years, Robyn has dedicated her life to building Māori literature in New Zealand. In 2014, she stepped down from her roleas Managing Director of Huia Publishers, but she remains involved with HUIA, working on some of the book projects and as a member of the Board of Directors. Besides HUIA work, Robyn is Chair of the Māori Literature Trust, Deputy Chair of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Kea Ngāti Tuara and a Director of Te Puia, the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute. She also spends time on te reo Māori studies, weaving korowai and having fun with her mokopuna and whānau.
After over twenty years of publishing, Brian recently retired from his roles as Director of HUIA and Commercial Publishing Manager. Brian has had over thirty years’ involvement in advocating for environmental and social justice and has been a negotiator in Māori grievances against the Crown. In 2016, he wrote The Struggle for Māori Fishing Rights: Te Ika a Māori about the recognition and restoration of Māori fishing rights, and he also co-edited with Robyn Bargh a collection of short fiction by New Zealand writers, Ngā Hau e Whā: Stories on the Four Winds. Brian continues to provide advice to the Commercial Publishing Team and the Manuscript Assessment Team at HUIA.
Best Short Story by a School Student in Māori
Kawata Teepa is a writer, resource developer and translator. As a licensed translator, he has carried out translation work with the Ministry of Education, Te Kete Ipurangi, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, the New Zealand Translation Centre and many other agencies. On undertaking translations at HUIA, Kawata works to retain the integrity of the original versions while keeping the Māori language rich but simple. His translations of children’s books have been finalists and award-winners, including Whiti Te Rā!, Tamanui: Te Kōkako Mōrehu o Taranaki, Ngā Kī, Maumahara ki tērā Nōema, Hautipua Rererangi and Ngarimu Te Tohu Toa.