Hiwa: Contemporary Māori Short Stories event

Recently at our Karori Library, in conjunction with Auckland University Press, we staged a very special celebration event for Hiwa: Contemporary Māori Short Stories with authors Whiti Hereaka (Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Te Arawa) and Jack Remiel Cottrell (Ngati Rangi).

Hiwa: Contemporary Māori Short Stories is a vibrant collection of contemporary Māori short stories, featuring twenty-seven writers working in English and te reo Māori. Edited by Paula Morris and consulting editor Darryn Joseph.

Photo of Whiti Hereaka(c)2021 Tabitha Arthur Photography

In this vibrant showcase of contemporary talent, Hiwa explores the range of styles and subjects in the flourishing world of Māori fiction. For our Karori event, we were honoured by the presence of two of the book’s contributors Whiti Hereaka (Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Te Arawa) and Jack Remiel Cottrell (Ngati Rangi)

Whiti Hereaka (Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Te Arawa) is an award-winning playwright, novelist and screenwriter. Whiti’s books include The Graphologist’s Apprentice, which was shortlisted for Best First Book in the Commonwealth Writers Prize South East Asia and Pacific 2011, Bugs which won the Honour Award, Young Adult Fiction, New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, 2014, Legacy, which won the award for Best Young Adult Fiction at the 2019 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults and Kurangaituku, winner of  the Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction at the 2022 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. When not writing multi award-winning books, Whiti is a barrister and solicitor. She has held a number of writing residencies and appeared at many literary festivals in Aotearoa and overseas.

Photo of Jack Remiel Cottrell (c) (Credit Vetiver Pictures)

Jack Remiel Cottrell (Ngati Rangi) grew up in Wellington and now lives in Auckland. His flash fiction collection was awarded the Wallace Prize for best manuscript in the University of Auckland Master of Creative Writing class of 2020.  Other than fiction, his main passion is sport. He has been a rugby referee for ten years and his latest project is a novel set during a cricket game.

This was a fabulous event, featuring two of some of Aotearoa’s finest writers, in discussion with our very own Louise Dowdell, resulting in a free ranging, insightful, entertaining and often funny conversation and an unmissable event.

If you did miss it, do not fear! The participants and Auckland University Press kindly gave us permission to the proceedings and we are now proud to present a video of the evening. We wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to Whiti Hereaka, Jack Remiel Cottrell, and Auckland University Press for making this happen.

You may now enjoy the video below, or by visiting our YouTube channel.

Hiwa : Contemporary Maori Short Stories
“An essential new anthology of our best Māori short fiction. Hiwa is a vibrant, essential collection of contemporary Māori short stories, featuring twenty-seven writers working in English or te reo Māori. The writers range from famous names and award winners – Patricia Grace, Witi Ihimaera, Whiti Hereaka, Becky Manawatu, Zeb Nicklin – to emerging voices like Shelley Burne-Field, Jack Remiel Cottrell, Anthony Lapwood and Colleen Maria Lenihan. A showcase of contemporary talent, Hiwa includes biographical introductions for each writer’s work, and explores the range of styles and subjects in the flourishing world of Māori fiction. Named for Hiwa-i-te-rangi, the ninth star of Matariki, signifying vigorous growth and dreams of the year ahead, this anthology reveals the flourishing world of Māori writing today, in Aotearoa and beyond.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

Kurangaituku / Hereaka, Whiti
“In the void of time, Kurangaituku, the bird-woman, tells the story of her extraordinary Life – the birds who first sang her into being, the arrival of the Song Makers and the change they brought to her world, her life with the young man Hatupatu, and her death. But death does not end a creature of imagination like Kurangaituku. In the underworlds of Rarohenga, she continues to live in the many stories she collects as she pursues what eluded her in life. This is a story of love – but is this love something that creates or destroys? Kurangaituku is a contemporary retelling of the story of Hatupatu from the perspective of the traditional ‘monster’- bird-woman Kurangaituku. For centuries, her voice has been absent from the story, and now, Kurangaituku means to claim it.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

Ten acceptable acts of arson : and other very short stories / Cottrell, Jack Remiel
“With a crisp insouciance and gliding charm, Jack Cottrell’s fiery, fey, finely-tuned fictions leap from sci-fi to fantasy, comedy to horror, literary realism to romance, and to hybrids of all of these. Featuring sport, friendship, love, health, family, climate change, artificial intelligence, desire, magic, Greek gods, ghosts, peanut butter, cyber pranks, racial prejudice, and creepy medical advances, his stories play with the allure of the past, the disturbances of our own times, and the dangerous idealism of our future technologies–each one in fewer than 300 words. Jack is a writer and volunteer rugby referee who knows how to pack a lot into a small space, whether a story or an extremely organised sports bag. With Ten Acceptable Acts of Arson, has he worked out how to cram an entire universe into a pocket-sized capsule?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Bugs / Hereaka, Whiti
“Bugs is about the unfolding lives of three young people in their last year of school in small-town New Zealand. Life is slow, and it seems not much happens in town or in Jez and Bugs’s lives. But when Stone Cold arrives, the three come to different conclusions about how to deal with being trapped in a small town and at the bottom of the heap.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.


Ko Aotearoa tātou, we are New Zealand : an anthology
“”In the aftermath of the Christchurch terrorist attacks of 15 March 2019, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared: ‘We are all New Zealanders.’ These words resonated, an instant meme that asserted our national diversity and inclusiveness and, at the same time, issued a rebuke to hatred and divisiveness. Ko Aotearoa Tātou | We Are New Zealand is bursting with new works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and visual art created in response to the editors’ questions: What is New Zealand now, in all its rich variety and contradiction, darkness and light? ” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

The graphologist’s apprentice / Hereaka, Whiti
“When January’s obsession with a married man begins to jeopardise her emotional stability, she decides to risk it all and respond to a mysterious card with the words Tell me a secret … Not content with her home life or work place, January takes comfort in reading romance novels but is suddenly brought back to reality when she meets the secret keeper, Mae, a graphologist.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

Legacy / Hereaka, Whiti
“Seventeen-year-old Riki is worried about school and the future, but mostly about his girlfriend, who has suddenly stopped texting him. But on his way to see her, he’s hit by a bus and his life radically changes. Riki wakes up one hundred years earlier in Egypt, in 1915, and finds he’s living through his great-great-grandfather’s experiences in the Māori Contingent. At the same time that Riki tries to make sense of what’s happening and find a way home, we read transcripts of interviews Riki’s great-great-grandfather gave in 1975 about his experiences in this war and its impact on their family. Gradually we realise the fates of Riki and his great-great-grandfather are intertwined.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

Year’s Best Aotearoa New Zealand science fiction and fantasy, V3
“When borders closed last year, Kiwi science fiction and fantasy took readers on flights of imagination through space and time. This anthology contains a selection of the best short science fiction and fantasy stories published by Aotearoa New Zealand writers in 2020.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.


A Kind of Shelter Whakaruru-taha : An anthology of new writing for a new world order / Ihimaera, Witi
“Sixty-eight writers and eight artists gather at a hui in a magnificent cave-like dwelling or meeting house. In the middle is a table, the tepu korero, from which the rangatira speak; they converse with honoured guests, and their rangatira-korero embody the tahuhu, the over-arching horizontal ridge pole, of the shelter. In a series of rich conversations, those present discuss our world in the second decade of this century; they look at decolonisation, indigeneity, climate change . . . this is what they see. Edited by Witi Ihimaera and Michelle Elvy, this fresh, exciting anthology features poetry, short fiction and creative non-fiction, as well as korero or conversations between writers and work by local and international artists. The lineup from Aoteraoa includes, among others, Alison Wong, Paula Morris, Anne Salmond, Tina Makereti, Ben Brown, David Eggleton, Cilla McQueen, Hinemoana Baker, Erik Kennedy, Ian Wedde, Nina Mingya Powles, Gregory O’ Brien, Vincent O’ Sullivan, Patricia Grace, Selina Tusitala Marsh and Whiti Hereaka. Guest writers from overseas include Aparecida Vilaç a, Jose-Luis Novo and Ru Freeman.” ( Adapted from Catalogue)