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Welcoming Matariki with KUPU! New year, new Māori writer’s festival


Where do you want to be this Matariki?


Rotorua is the answer!


From June 12 to June 18 you can fill your kete with books, workshops and inspiring stories in celebration of kaituhi Māori: past, present and future.


KUPU 22 brings to us a week of festivities between June 12 and June 18, with writers such as Patricia Grace, Sir Timoti Karetū, Whiti Hereaka and Scotty Morrison in attendance. The programme also includes celebrations of early Māori writers, Te Rangikaheke, Makereti Papakura, and Te Kōkau Himiona Te Pikikōtuku.

Having been a work in progress since 2021, the long-awaited festival is finally underway this month: a precursor to the first official Matariki holiday on June 24.


Robyn Bargh, Chair of The Māori Literature Trust and co-founder of Huia Publishers, says one of the catalysts for KUPU 22 was an article by Shilo Kino, author of Pōrangi Boy.

“I would love to see a Māori and Pasifika writers’ week,” says Shilo, recalling her experience in attending an Auckland Writers Festival.

“A place where Māori and Pasifika children and their whānau come to celebrate writing, storytelling, our culture and every part that makes us who we are.”


With a wide range of activities on the cards for KUPU 22, attendees can choose from an evening of mōteatea writing, an interview with Patricia Grace, a panel of esteemed fiction and academic writers, as well as writing and publishing workshops. This festival ultimately can be attended by everyone — established writers, upcoming writers, readers,  book lovers, and the wider community. To view the full festival programme, click here.


With its rich history, strong whakawhanaungatanga, and widespread use of te reo Māori, there is no better place to host this year’s festival than Rotorua. The programme will be taking place at local marae and other venues such as Te Papaiōuru (Ngāti Whakaue, Ōhinemutu), Tarimano (Ngāti Rangiwewehi, Awahou), Tamatekapua (Ngāti Whakaue, Ohinemutu), Te Pākira (Whakarewarewa), Te Tākinga Marae (Ngāti Pikiao, Mourea), Te Aka Mauri – Rotorua Library and McLeods Booksellers.


Tickets to KUPU 22 | June 12 to June 18


Tickets to this festival are quickly selling out click here to secure your spot!


For those who are unable to attend in person, KUPU 22 will be available through live and delayed webcasts as well as podcasts, interviews, and other online features. See the KUPU 22 website for more details.