Te reo Māori children's books will be recognised at 2017 NZ book awards

By Ani-Oriwia Adds
  • Wellington

The five finalists for the Te Kura Pounamu Award for books written completely in te reo Māori will be recognized tonight at the 2017 NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. 

Enticing storylines, exceptional Reo and beautiful imagery are all elements of what makes these books finalists.

Ngā Manu Tukutuku e Whitu o Matariki, Ngārara Huarau, Te Haerenga Māia a Riripata i Te Araroa, Te Kaihanga Māpere and Tuna rāua ko Hiriwa are all books that are finalists in this year’s Te Kura Pounamu Award section.

Finalist and writer of children's book Te Haerenga Māia a Riripata i Te Araroa, Maris O'Rourke says, “We're just beyond just thrilled. It's in every kōhanga reo and every kura kaupapa Māori now.

Pam Jones, the convenor of judges, says, "This year's shortlist reminds us that books are powerful vehicles for helping children make sense of their world and gain a better understanding of themselves and others."

Huia Publishers Chief Executive and finalist in the Te Kura Pounamu awards sections Brian Morris says, “In this story, you get to see Māori protocols and how it applies to the characters. You also get to see issues that relate to the people.”

The writer of Te Kaihanga Māpere book and finalist Sacha Cotter says, “Essentially this story is about following your dreams. Although it's set in the context of making marbles in a quite imaginative setting, but really that's what it is for me and it’s kind of saying that you can do this too, if you have a dream, if you try really hard, you can do it.”

The winners of each category will be announced tonight at the awards ceremony.