Huia Publishers Managing Director Robyn Bargh says that the competition grows every year, but 2009 has seen a sharp rise in entries in most categories.
‘There’s been a 40 percent increase in entries for the short story and novel categories and a 60 percent increase in the short film category,’ says Ms Bargh. ‘We’ve seen a lot of new names and fresh faces this year, and that’s exciting for a Māori publisher.’
‘As the Pikihuia competition grows, so does the literary community within Māori, and we are proud to be able to provide support and opportunities to emerging writers.’
The Māori Literature Trust and Huia Publishers have announced the finalists for the awards. Thirty-two finalist short stories and novel extracts will be published in the collection Huia Short Stories 8, which is due out in September.
There were 14 finalists from Wellington, eight from the Bay of Plenty (Rotorua, Rotoiti, Tauranga and Kawerau), seven from Gisborne, three from Auckland, two from the Waikato and one each from Christchurch, Palmerston North, Whangarei, Havelock North, Hawera and Foxton.
The Pikihuia Awards for Māori Writers started in 1995 and have provided a successful platform for emerging Māori writers. Past winners and finalists include renowned authors Paula Morris, James George and Kelly Ana Morey.
Robyn Bargh, Managing Director of Huia Publishers says that every year she is delighted at the depth of talent coming through and is always humbled at the way young people become more and more confident at expressing themselves, both in English and te reo Māori.
Ms Bargh adds that Pikihuia finalists have gone on to publish novels, short story collections and participate in creative writing workshops as a result of their participation.
This year, the judges were broadcaster Julian Wilcox , filmmaker Rhonda Kite and award-winning authors David Geary and Briar Grace-Smith – a former Pikihuia finalist. Huia Publishers judged the secondary schools category.
The awards are held every two years. The launch of Huia Short Stories 8 and winner announcements will take place at the Pikihuia Awards ceremony at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa on 12 September 2009.
Finalists in the Short Story in English category
Jacquie McRae (Tainui), Wellsford
Rob Tuwhare (Ngā Puhi), Auckland
Ann French (Ngā Puhi), Tauranga
Puna Heremaia (Taranaki, Te Ātiawa, Ngāti Awa), Rotoiti
Raschel-Miette (Ngā Puhi), Gisborne
Glenis Philip-Barbara (Ngāti Porou), Gisborne
Robert Madden (Ngāti Porou, Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki), Gisborne, with two entries
Kim Torrez (Ngāti Porou, Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki), Gisborne
Wendy French (Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki, Ngāti Awa), Palmerston North
Whai Conroy (Te Arawa, Ngāti Kahungunu), Porirua City
K-T Harrison (Waikato, Hauraki), Porirua City, with two entries
Justine Murray (Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui), Wellington
Charlie Holland (Ngāti Porou, Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki), Wellington
Kelly Joseph (Ngāti Maniapoto), Kapiti Coast, with three entries
Piripi Evans (Ngāti Mutunga, Ngāi Tahu), Wellington
Tina Makereti (Tūwharetoa, Te Arawa), Kapiti Coast
Peter Waaka (Tūhourangi, Ngāti Wāhiao), Queenstown
Finalists in the Novel Extract category
Paul Gilbert (Ngāi Tahu), Hamilton
Ann French (Ngā Puhi), Tauranga
Marama Salsano (Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki, Tūhoe), Gisborne
K-T Harrison (Waikato, Hauraki), Porirua City
Rawinia Parata (Ngāti Porou, Ngāi Tahu), Wellington
Finalists in the Māori Language Short Story category
Ruihapounamu Ruwhiu (Te Whānau-a-Apanui, Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Awa), Rotorua
Mōrehu Nikora (Ngāi Tamanuhiri, Rongowhakaata, Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki), Gisborne, with three entries
Michael Ross (Ngati Hauā), Lower Hutt
Charisma Rangipunga (Kāi Tahu, Taranaki, Ngāti Kahungunu), Christchurch
Finalists in the Secondary Schools category
Moria Awatea Holdaway-Howard (Ngā Puhi), Whangārei
Tyler Edwardson (Te Whakatōhea, Te Whānau-a-Apanui), Kawerau
Manita Grant (Te Arawa, Te Whakatohea, Te Whānau-a-Apanui), Rotorua
Makuini Warbrick (Tūhourangi, Ngāti Wāhiao), Rotorua
Hanareia Ehau-Taumaunu (Ngāti Pōhatu, Ngāti Porou, Te Ātiawa, Ngāti Mutunga), Gisborne
Tarapuhi Bryers Brown (Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga, Uenuku, Ngāti Rangi), Havelock North
Summer James (Ngātitara), Hawera
Jacqui Robinson (Ngāti Raukawa), Foxton
Tihema Baker (Ngāti Raukawa), Ōtaki, with two entries
KahuRangi Tapiata Watene (Te Arawa, Ngāti Porou), Wellington
Charlizza Harris (Ngāti Kahurangi, Ngāti Porou), Upper Hutt