Gisborne resident Mōrehu Nikora (Ngāi Tamanuhiri, Rongowhakaata, Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki) was awarded the Te Pakiwaitara i te Reo Māori Award for Best Short Story Written in Māori for his work He Reta mā Taku Huia Kamanawa. Judge for the category Julian Wilcox of Māori Television noted Nikora’s work as ‘Warm, invigorating, enlightening and engaging.’
‘Whilst the language used was of an exemplary nature,’ said Wilcox, ‘what perhaps matters most is that this is a simple message for an unborn child, capturing the signs of our times and hopes for our future generations.’
Tina Makereti (Tuwharetoa, Te Ati Awa, Rangatahi, Moriori) from the Kapiti Coast took home the Short Story in English award for Skin and Bones, wowing judges with a contemporary twist on the birth of the earth mother Hine. Tina says Skin and Bones is part of a collection of stories in which she wonders what the gods might be like if they were only human.
The award for best novel extract was given to A Song for Jimmy by Porirua resident K-T Harrison (Ngati-Paoa, Ngati-Haua). K-T grew up in Tokoroa and has lived in South Auckland and Waikato. K-T has five children and fifteen grand children.
Urban Wellingtonian Nathaniel Hinde (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Porou) was awarded the Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga Award for Best Short Film Script Written in English for his work Ten Cent Life.
Judge for the category Rhonda Kite praised Nathaniel’s script as ‘clever, amusing and warm hearted’.
‘This year’s recipient spoke in an absorbing and compelling way through his character,’ she said.
Judges from Huia Publishers found the secondary school category particularly difficult to find a winner as many of those shortlisted were of high distinction. However, the winning entry Got Your Back, Bro by Tylar Edwardson (Te Whakatōhea, Te Whānau-a-Apanui), Kawerau was one that stood out from the rest.
‘Loyalty was a strong theme in many of the secondary school stories, but we found this story in particular had an engaging imagery and style that encapsulated the true essence of writing from a rangatahi perspective,’ said Te Mihinga Komene of Huia Publishers.
The Pikihuia Awards for Māori Writers are held every two years. The thirty-two best short stories and novel extracts from this year have been published in Huia Short Stories 8, released in conjunction with the awards night at Te Papa Museum.
Best Short Story Written in English: Tina Makereti (Paraparaumu)
Highly Commended: Kelly Joseph (Paekakariki) and Piripi Evans (Wellington)
Best Short Story Written in Te Reo Māori: Mōrehu Nikora (Gisborne)
Highly Commended: Ruihapounamu Ruwhiu (Rotorua) and Mōrehu Nikora (Gisborne)
Best Novel Extract Written in English: K-T Harrison (Porirua)
Highly Commended: Paul Gilbert (Hamilton) and Ann French (Tauranga)
Best Short Film Script Written in English: Nathaniel Hinde (Wellington)
Highly Commended: Kylie-Marama Meehan (Tauranga) and Hamish Bennett (Auckland)
Best Short Story Written in Māori or English by a Secondary School Student: Tylar Edwardson (Kawerau)
Highly Commended: Manita Grant (Rotorua) and Tihema Baker (Otaki)
- Read about Dame Katerina Te Heikoko Mataira’s special award for her
Lifetime Contribution to Māori Literature >>
The Pikihuia Awards for 2009 were proudly sponsored by Huia Publishers, Toi Māori Aotearoa, Te Puni Kōkiri, Te Waka Toi, New Zealand Film Commission, Te Ohu Kaimoana, Astra Print, D’signNation and New Zealand Post Group.