Monday, February 15, 2021

Same Same but Different - New Zealand's LGBTQI+ readers and writers festival


Oratia Books attended the Same Same but Different Festival last weekend, where speakers shared experiences from intersecting spaces in their lives such as being queer, being a writer, being a scientist, and positioned from an underlying theme of At Home. All were amazing ambassadors for the creative talent in the LGBTQI+ community. Oratia Books is committed to continued patronage of this very fabulous festival. Visit this Same Same Facebook page for recordings of all the sessions. 

Crime and Punishment, from left: Hilary Lapsley and Lois Cox who write as Jennifer Palgrave, M. Darusha Wehm, host Jen Shieff, Aroha Awarau. Session link:

Queer Bodies from left: Elyssia Ra’nee Wilson-Heti, Jackson Nieuwland, Jesse Bering, host George Parker, Henrietta (Etta) Bollinger. The group were subsequently joined by Ria Hiroki. Session link:

Photos by Carolyn Legahetau

Monday, February 8, 2021

New book by Hona Black will be a valuable reference for writing and speaking te reo Māori

Years of research into kupu whakarite (metaphors and similes) have borne fruit for young Massey University scholar, Hona Black. 

In He Iti te Kupu, he brings together nearly 500 figures of speech into a ready resource for speakers and students of te reo — and anyone who wishes to deepen their language use in New Zealand.

Hona wrote this, his first book, in te reo. That text is printed on the left-hand pages of the book, with his translation into English on the facing right-hand pages.

That lets all readers access the use, meaning and context of the main metaphors and similes in Māori. 

The contents are arranged in chapters such as Ngā manu o uta, o tai – Birds of the land and sea, and Te Moana – The ocean. 


He Iti te Kupu extends Oratia’s popular programme of language reference books, including Māori Place Names and Te Reo Māori: The Basics Explained.

As the new book’s title suggests, ‘Iti te kupu, nui te kōrero’ — ‘Words are small, yet their meanings are substantial’.

Click here for Hona's Facebook post announcing his pukapuka. 

Ka nui ngā mihi ki a koe e Hona mō tō mahi whakamīharo, ki a Darryn Joseph hoki mō tana tautoko i te kaupapa nei. 

The author

Hona Black (Ngāi Tūhoe, Te Whānau a Apanui, Ngāti Tūwharetoa) lectures on the post-graduate diploma in teaching for Māori medium schools at Te Pūtahi a Toi: School of Māori Knowledge at Massey University in Palmerston North. He has worked as the Senior Māori Adviser on Massey’s Wellington campus, and been Head of Te Reo Māori at Hato Pāora College in Feilding. 

Publication: early February 2021  |  ISBN: 978-0-947506-91-9 | RRP $39.99

Paperback, 210 x 148 mm portrait, 232 pages, b&w


Monday, January 18, 2021

Oratia makes commitment to diversity and inclusion through new policy

Oratia Media is starting off 2021 by making a firm commitment to representing diversity in its publishing, personnel and vision.

That is embodied in this policy statement.


Diversity Policy


To be a diverse and inclusive publisher with no barriers to entry for anyone regardless of their background or identity.


Oratia will respect:

·      the central role of the Treaty of Waitangi, respecting Māori as tangata whenua

·      the role of Pacific peoples in Aotearoa

·      the diverse cultures of Aotearoa New Zealand

·      the principle of equal access and opportunity for people of all cultures, ages, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, abilities and religions

This initiative follows our participation in a series of Diversity and Publishing workshops organised by the Publishers Association of New Zealand (PANZ) between September and December 2020. 

Diversity specialist Anton Blank of Oranui led those workshops and helped participants to develop policy and tools that will help book publishers to give equal access and value to all sectors of society in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Anton Blank of Oranui, which focuses on generating debate about diversity and giving people skills to deal with a diverse range of population groups

Along with Anton, and Alex Collins and Mish Wickremesekera of Lift Education, Carolyn Lagahetau and Peter Dowling of Oratia sit on PANZ's diversity subcommittee. 

Together they have developed policy and training for PANZ, and this is now extending to members.

We are firmly committed to books and workplaces that represent people of all backgrounds, and aim to carry that through into our future publishing, starting from respect for the Treaty of Waitangi. 


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