Topic: Entertainment

Rejection doesn’t faze Pikihuia Award winners

By Heeni Brown, Wepiha Te Kanawa
  • Auckland
  • Wellington

Last night the winners for the 2015 Pikihuia awards were announced and acknowledged for their excellence in Māori story writing.

A number of past entries threw their hat into the ring and came out with top honours.

Wellington hosted the bi-annual Pikihuia Awards and attracted some of the country’s top Māori writers.

Huia Publishers publishing director Brian Morris said, “It’s good to see the entries, the new ones and the ones that have come back to the competition.”

Māori writer Aroha Awarau entered his first story 25 years ago during his last year of school, but came nowhere. This year Aroha's script 'Puti' won the 'Best Short Film Script' award.

“The script is set on a Sunday where a mother is working the streets, she's a sex worker and she brings her kids to work because she looks after her kids in between jobs,” says Awarau, who is also an accomplished journalist for the Women’s Weekly magazine.

Darryn Joseph first short story was rejected 20 years ago but says the competition is the reason why he writes. His short story 'Taku Ao, Tō Mate Kanehe' took out the Best Māori Short Story award.

“It's set in a pub, three sailors are talking about their long lost love, I'll leave it there,” says Joseph.

Huia Publishers also unveiled their new book 'Huia Short Stories 11', with stories from some of NZ's top Māori writers.