Thursday, June 22, 2017

New picture book vividly celebrates Māori gods

Publishing today, Ngā Atua: Māori Gods is a gorgeous hardback edition of artwork and simple explanations of the major Māori gods.




Author Robyn Kahukiwa is widely recognised as one of the leading artists of her generation, and a pioneer among Māori women in her multiple activities in painting, writing and publishing.

In Ngā Atua, Robyn introduces the pantheon of Māori gods, and explains the arena of life for which each deity is responsible.

“I created for this work for my mokopuna, Kahu, to encourage him and others to relate to their whakapapa and know that we of Maori descent have a genealogy that comes from ngā atua,” Robyn comments.


Tāne, Hine-te-iwaiwa, Tangaroa, Mahuika and Māui are some of the spiritual beings who leap off the pages of this four-colour book.

Publication Date: 22 June 2017  |  ISBN: 978-0-947506-26-1 |  RRP $24.99
Hardback, 270 x 210 mm, 32 pages colour

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Putting the map back into Māori Maps

We're happy to share the news of improvements to the Māori Maps website, a charitable venture supported by Oratia.  

After completing a redevelopment of www.maorimaps.com in January to enable it to be viewed effectively on mobile devices, the team has just reinstated the full map search function to the site.

Now www.maorimaps.com features a navigable map of all of Aotearoa, and has a tab on the menu bar that allows you to go to this overall map at any point. Click here to view.

Thanks to the users who requested that we reproduce this core function from the old site into the new, responsive site - and to the team at Zest IT for implementation.

Here's the post from Māori Maps on Facebook.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Beehive launch cuts the cake on important new book

Wellington's Beehive was the venue for yesterday evening's unveiling of the fourth edition of the definitive guide to the practice and procedure of the New Zealand House of Representatives.

Politicians and parliamentary experts, both present and past, were in attendance for the launch of Parliamentary Practice in New Zealand — authored by former Clerk of the House of Representatives David McGee, and fully revised by Mary Harris (who was the Clerk until 2015) and David Wilson (the present office holder).
Clerks past and present, from left: Mary Harris, David Wilson and David McGee at last night's event
(Photo courtesy Office of the Clerk)
Speaking to the assembled guests, David Wilson praised the large team from the Office of the House of Representatives that had helped to bring this large book to completition, notably assistant editors Pavan Sharma and David Bagnall.

He noted that 12 years had passed since the previous edition, necessitating numerous revisions to content and structure of the book, including measures to make the work more accessible to readers.

Parliamentary Practice in New Zealand is available for the first time as an ebook, as well as an 896-page printed edition.
A splendid cake in a shape of the book, baked by Andie Lindsay, executive
assistant to the Clerk of the House of Representatives 
David Wilson cuts the cake to mark the launch of the fourth edition

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Parliamentary Practice in New Zealand to be launched this evening

Parliamentary Practice in New Zealand, the fourth edition of the definitive guide to the workings of the New Zealand parliament, will be launched this evening at the Beehive, Wellington.

Politicians, leading civil servants, the legal fraternity and the bookselling community will all be represented at the launch in the Banquet Hall. A full report will be on this blog after the event.

The book will be on sale from tomorrow, 24 May, in all good bookstores.



Publication Date: 24 May 2017  |  ISBN: 978-0-947506-24-7 |  RRP $75.00

Paperback, 245 x 155 mm, 896 pages black & white
Ebook:  ISBN 978-0-947506-27-8 |  RRP $45.00


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Back in the bookstores: A Wild Wind from the North


Hongi Hika’s invasion of the Rotorua area in 1823 is one of the most dramatic and daring assaults ever in New Zealand. Yet like much of our early history, the details are unknown to many New Zealanders.

Don Stafford
(photo © Kerrie Grant)
The late Don Stafford committed himself to redress that imbalance – arguing throughout his distinguished career that events like the Musket Wars deserve to be studied no less than the Napoleonic Wars of the same period.

The distinguished historican dedicated his life and work to the Rotorua district, writing over 20 books on Rotorua and its history, including the monumental Te Arawa (published in a new edition last year by Oratia). 

In A Wild Wind from the North: Hongi Hika's 1823 invasion of Rotorua, Stafford tells how Hongi’s Ngāpuhi forces roamed the North Island from the late 1810s seeking utu (revenge) for past slights. 

Te Arawa, inland and with their island stronghold of Mokoia on Lake Rotorua, felt impregnable. 

They did not count on Hongi’s epic portage of canoes to the lake shores, from which an attack on Mokoia became inevitable.

A Wild Wind from the North not only tells the story with Stafford’s flair and, but is also richly illustrated, including modern photos of the locations depicted. 

This new printing in a handsome hardback keeps true to Don's commitment to the great stories of our past. Click here for more info. 

A Wild Wind from the North
Publication Date: 18 May 2017  |  ISBN: 978-0-947506-23-0 |  RRP $39.99
Hardback, 180 x 140 mm, 160 pages b&w (including 8 pages colour)

Monday, April 24, 2017

Great reception for Matthew Wright's new book as Anzac Day approaches

The New Zealand Experience at Gallipoli and the Western Front has made a strong showing in the media and bookstores since publication on 6 April.

This past Saturday 22nd, Messines Bookshop in Featherston hosted a launch at which author Matthew Wright spoke.
Matthew Wright signing a copy for Viv Napier, Mayor of South Wairarapa 
A good crowd turned out to this young bookshop that specialises in military history.

Also on the weekend, the New Zealand Listener came out with a major extract from the book. Here's how Matthew's writing about the Passchendaele campaign is billed on the Noted website:

In Flanders fields
New Zealand’s most lethal military campaign was on the Western Front between 1916 and 1918. On the campaign’s worst day, a century ago this year, 845 Kiwis died trying to take a small Belgian village. by Matthew Wright
The new issue of the New Zealand Listener featuring Matthew's work 
Get your copy of the Listener to read more.

Historian Gavin McLean gave the book a very positive review in the Otago Daily Times books section on the weekend - describing it as 'a fine introduction to a war that still shapes our world'.

Matthew had earlier talked about the book with Terry Toner on Radio Southland's book show.

And for information about The New Zealand Experience at Gallipoli and the Western Front, click
here.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

New edition for Sir Peter Blake's life story



Oratia Books today welcomes back to print The Story of Sir Peter Blake - Tessa Duder's retelling of the life of the great sailor, leader and environmentalist.

First published in 2012 and reprinted twice since then, this illustrated paperback is aimed at teenage readers, telling of his exploits, the leadership qualities he embodied and the sailing world he loved.

The full cover of the new edition out today
Boxes feature explanations of background sailing skills, the America's Cup and other key points - Duder is not only an award-winning author but is also a keen sailor.

Eight pages of colour photos accompany plentiful black & white photos, diagrams and maps.



Tessa Duder is one of New Zealand's most celebrated children's authors, and has written more than 40 books in genres from junior fiction to adult history.


The new Oratia edition of this accessible biography is available at all good booksellers. And click here for more information about the book.


The Story of Sir Peter Blake  |  Tessa Duder  |  ISBN: 978-0-947506-31-5  |  $24.99
235 x 153 mm portrait, paperback, 144 pages (including 8 pages colour)

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Matthew Wright's authoritative First World War history publishes today

Out today, The New Zealand Experience at Gallipoli and the Western Front has been praised as "well written, superbly organised, balanced and up to date" and "an ideal introduction on New Zealand's encounter with the maelstrom of the First World War".


On sale from today in all good booksellers, Matthew Wright's major history balances taut writing with extensive illustrations.

A sample of the photos gives a flavour of what our soldiers faced during the Gallipoli and Western Front campaigns, and the impact these events had back home.









The New Zealand Experience at Gallipoli and the Western Front | ISBN: 978-0-947506-19-3 |  
RRP $49.99  |  Paperback with flaps, 240 x 170 mm, 392 pages

Monday, April 3, 2017

Haere atu rā Pā Henare Tate

It is with sadness that we share news of the passing of Pā Henare Tate (Ngāti Manawa, Te Rarawa), the author of He Puna Iti i te Ao Mārama.

Pā Tate passed away in Rawene, Northland on Saturday after a long illness.


A priest, whānau and community leader, Pā was a former lecturer at the Catholic Institute of Theology in Auckland. He earned a doctorate in theology from the Melbourne College of Divinity, which formed the basis for his book.

He Puna Iti i te Ao Mārama sets out the foundation for an indigenous Māori theology, integrating traditional and Christian beliefs to form a distinctively Māori response.

An intelligent, humane and warm man, and a superb speaker of Te Reo Māori, Pā will be much missed by all those who knew him.

His tangi is taking place at his home marae of Motutī, in the northern Hokianga.

Haere atu rā e mātua kei tua o te ārai. As you wrote in the introduction to your book:

Kua ū te waka ki uta ka titiro ki waho, ki te ara moana. 
The canoe has come ashore and one looks back on the ocean pathway. 




Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Māui — Sun Catcher chosen as Storylines Notable Book

The Storylines Children's Literature Trust of New Zealand has this morning named Māui — Sun Catcher as a Notable Book 2017.

Storylines selected 33 outstanding New Zealand children's and teen's books published in 2016 to make up the Notable Book list.

Māui — Sun Catcher, which Oratia published in November 2016, was one of 12 titles in the list of Picture Book Notables 2017.

"The awards, given since 2000, are a respected yardstick for the best children's book published in New Zealand each year," said Dr Libby Limbrick, Storylines Trust Chair.


Written by Tim Tipene and illustrated by Zak Waipara, Māui - Sun Catcher retells the myth of Māui catching the sun in a modern setting — where Māui is a young city boy struggling to make life better for his people.

Tim and Zak will receive award certificates at the Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal Presentation and National Awards Days in Auckland on Sunday 2 April.

For more on the book, click here




Thursday, March 9, 2017

Bullies and Warriors keeps going strong!

Tim Tipene
Tim Tipene's junior novel Bullies and Warriors is now back in its latest reprint. 

A perennial favourite in schools and libraries, this novel for 8 to 12 year-olds confronts bullying in schools via the story of a bully, his victim, and how they resolve the issue. 

Going to school is a misery for Sean - whatever he does to avoid the school bully, Mark Thomas and his mates always catch up with him. 

But then the kids are enrolled in a programme to address self-control and care for others, leading to some surprises for all. 

Bullies and Warriors is here to stay.

Bullies and Warriors • Tim Tipene
ISBN: 978-0-947506-30-8   RRP: $24.99

Specs: 198 x 129 mm portrait, PB, 100 pp


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