Te Reo Māori finalists announced for NZ Book Awards

Three te reo Māori books have been announced as finalists for the Te Kura Pounamu Award category at this year's New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. 

The finalists are:

  • Tamanui te Kōkako Mōrehu o Taranaki written by Rebecca Beyer and Linley Wellington, illustrated by Andrew Burdan and translated by Kawata Teepa, Huia Publishers
  • Te Hua Tuatahi a Kuwi, Kat Merewether, translated by Pānia Papa, Illustrated Publishing
  • Whiti te Rā! Patricia Grace, illustrated by Andrew Burdan, translated by Kawata Teepa, Huia Publishers

Selected from four submissions, the judges agreed that the three finalists’ books uplift and enrich te reo Māori literature. Convenor of the judging panel Riki-Lee Saua says, "These three books stood out for their inspiring and relevant content, stunning illustrations and excellence in the quality of Māori language translations.”

The entries were judged by librarians Te Rangi Rangi Tangohau and Lawren Matrix, and Auckland Museum’s Senior Outreach Programmer, Mereana Taungapeau. The convenor of the te reo Māori panel is University of Auckland Kaitiaki Māori librarian Riki-Lee Saua.

This is the 26th year of celebrating the best of New Zealand writing for children and young adults. The awards comprise six categories, including; Young Adult Fiction, Junior Fiction, Picture Books, Illustration and te reo Māori. 

There were 154 entries submitted. Winners will be announced on the evening of Monday, 8 August at Circa Theatre in Wellington.