Tuesday, October 26, 2021

He Iti te Kupu wins Te Reo Māori section of NZSA Awards

Ngā mihi nunui ki Hona Black, kua toa i ngā NZSA New Zealand Literary Heritage Awards mo te pukapuka pai ake i te Reo, i panuihia i te pō o Rāmere kei Ōtautahi.

Hearty congratulations to author Hona Black, whose book He Iti te Kupu: Māori Metaphors and Similes won the Te Reo Māori Books section at the NZSA New Zealand Literary Heritage Awards, announced this past Friday at a ceremony in Christchurch. 


Hona wrote this, his first book, entirely in te reo. He then translated all of the explanations and examples into English. 

The layout reflects that process, with text in Māori on left-hand pages and English on the facing pages — enabling speakers of either language to access the use, meaning and context of nearly 500 metaphors and similes.

He Iti te Kupu is the culmination of extensive research into kupu whakarite (metaphors and similes) by Hona, a lecturer and teacher who is currently completing his doctorate in te reo Māori. 

Associate Professor Darryn Joseph of Massey University edited the manuscript and mentored Hona through the publishing process, and Kanapu Rangitauira proofread the book.

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. 


In the words of awards judge Charisma Rangipunga: 'Hona Black’s bilingual collection of metaphors and similes is a tool not to be underestimated.'

Ka nui ngā mihi ki a koe e Hona mō tēnei paraihe.

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. He currently lives in Wellington.

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

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


Monday, October 25, 2021

A brilliant LP-sized gallery of classic New Zealand album covers

Cover Story

100 Beautiful, Strange and Frankly Incredible New Zealand LP Covers: Volume One

Steve Braunias

Welcome to an incredible picture gallery collection of 100 albums selected not by jury or a sales chart, but an avid collector of albums — and one of the best chroniclers of modern-day New Zealand. 

Award-winning author and journalist Steve Braunias fell into record collecting one fateful Christmas at the Salvation Army Family Store in Henderson, West Auckland (see photo above). He flipped through a box of old vinyl records and the sight of one mad, beautiful New Zealand album cover after another gave him the idea to present them in a book. 

It only took six years! He amassed a collection of over 800 LPs made in New Zealand and Cover Story showcases the best 100.


The records are from a golden age in New Zealand music — from 1957 (when the first LP was made here) to 1987 (the year records stopped being made here). The covers reflect our silliness and our sexiness, our love of a scenic backdrop and our DIY creativity. 

Cover Story features LPs made by Country & Western hayseeds, born-again Christians, hard-drinking piano players and a few genuine legends of New Zealand music: Peter Posa . . . Hello Sailor  . . . The Yandall Sisters . . . Some guy who owned a menswear store in Whanganui . . . 


They all answer the question: what does Kiwi music look like? Steve writes stories behind the record covers, through a series of interviews and small essays.


The discography (see page 165 of the book) lists records by acts as diverse as children's entertainer Max Cryer, Fijian rock band Mantis, Invercargill's country music sweetheart Suzanne Prentice, genius stoned hippie Corben Simpson, and the Patea Maori Club, whose masterpiece of album art Poi E  is displayed over two pages in the centrefold.


As Steve puts it, Cover Story is 'Thirty years of record covers, making a sketch of New Zealand cultural history, sometimes frankly incredibly, quite often strangely, very often beautifully.'

Cover Story is arriving in good bookstores across the nation this week.

The author

Steve Braunias began raiding op shops for old New Zealand albums in 2015 and has since amassed over 800 LPs that no one else wanted. The author of ten books, including Civilisation (winner of the 2013 New Zealand Book Award for General Non-fiction) and Missing Persons (his second collection of true-crime stories), Steve is a staff writer at the New Zealand Herald and literary editor at Newsroom. He has won more than 40 national awards for writing. He lives in Te Atatu, Auckland.

Publication: 26 October 2021  |  RRP $49.99  |  ISBN:  978-0-947506-89-6
Paperback, 312 x 312 mm (LP size), 168 pages, colour

Monday, October 18, 2021

I've Broken MY BUM! forms a new combo with Mister Spears and Charlie


Three books in one as the second of the hit ‘Bum Series’ combines with two favourite picture books

There’s a whole lot of fun and laughter going on in the new special collection from bestselling author-illustrator combo Dawn McMillan and Ross Kinnaird, which hits bookstores on Tuesday 19 October.

Publishing in time for Christmas stockings and summer holidays, I’ve Broken MY BUM! and other stories brings together three of the duo’s slightly silly, raucously rhyming and dazzlingly drawn books.


In the title story, the hero of international bestseller I Need a New Bum! breaks his backside, reassembles it on a tray and glues it back together,  but on reattaching finds that the tray is stuck fast too. 

Mister Spears and his Hairy Ears turns the sad fate of Mister Spears, whose ear hair just won’t stop growing and growing, into a triumph as he ties it into a funky hairdo and hits the road with his band The Earbashers.


And in Charlie and his amazing tales, a dog tells a passing boy of his daring adventures, from surfing in Hawaii to singing at the Royal Variety Show. So why is he for sale for only $10?

Combining a keen sense of humour with a very keen price, this bumper volume will have young kids reading and laughing all summer.

The authors

Dawn McMillan 
is the much-loved author of numerous children’s books including I Need a New Bum! Doctor Grundy’s Undies and the 2020 release Sir Singlet. She lives in Waiomu, north of Thames. 

Ross Kinnaird is an illustrator and designer whose books have been published around the world, many of them in collaboration with Dawn. He lives close to the water on Auckland’s North Shore.

Publication: 19 October 2021  |  ISBN: 978-0-947506-94-0 | RRP $29.99

Paperback, 230 x 215 mm portrait, 96 pages, colour



Monday, October 11, 2021

Seven Lives on Salt River returns in New Zealand Classics facsimile edition

Seven Lives on Salt River

Dick Scott

Second in New Zealand Classics series reissues innovative local history that won 1988 NZ Book Award for non-fiction

‘Scott proves it is possible to hold history in the palm of your hand.’    Fiona Kidman 

First published in 1987 and here in its third edition, Seven Lives on Salt River is a local history that transcends its boundaries along the northern Kaipara Harbour around Pahi to be a universal story of how European arrivals adapted to life among Māori in a new land. 

Dick Scott was renowned for bringing the suppressed history of Parihaka to light in Ask That Mountain, and like that earlier work, Seven Lives has become a classic of popular storytelling. 

The book portrays seven European families central to settlement in the area — the Blackwells, Coates, de Labrosses, Jackmans, Pooks, Scotlands and Stevens — with local Ngāti Whātua and other settlers.

Interwoven with stories and photos of the community are lives both ordinary and outstanding, including Gordon Coates, the first New Zealand-born prime minister; Jane Mander, renowned author of The Story of a New Zealand River; and Henry Scotland, a father of the peace movement and champion of Māori land rights. 

Beyond their legacies, it is the detail of how these families fitted in and the spectacular illustrations that gives this highly illustrated book its enduring fascination. 

This facsimile edition, printed locally, takes its place in Oratia’s New Zealand Classic series, bringing key works of our history back into print.

The author

Prime Minister David Lange (left) with Dick Scott at the launch of
Seven Lives on Salt River in 1987

Dick Scott (born 1923) was a fearless and often peerless popular historian whose works included the ground-breaking 151 Days, Ask That Mountain and Would a Good Man Die? He stumbled on Pahi while researching the early vineyards of Northland, and later had a holiday home on the peninsula. Dick passed away on New Year’s Day 2020.

Publication: 11 October 2021  |  RRP $39.99  |  ISBN:  978-1-99-004210-2

Facsimile paperback, 250 x 182 mm, 160 pages, b&w

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

He Atua, He Tangata: classic Māori myths collection gets a makeover

He Atua, He Tangata

The World of Māori Mythology

A.W. Reed

Revised by Ross Calman

Publishing icon A.W. Reed’s renowned collection of Māori myths and legends has stood the test of time since it was first published in 1963 as A Treasury of Maori Folklore.


Reed’s wide research and ability to tell a great story made the treasury a go-to source of traditional stories for a generation — fulfilling his goal of putting ‘into simple, connected narrative form, and in a logical sequence of categories, the major legends and beliefs, with their more important variants, and thus to provide a volume of straightforward reading and easy reference.’


He Atua, He Tangata: The World of Māori Mythology revises Reed’s work for a twenty-first century readership, under the guiding hand of esteemed editor Ross Calman (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Toa, Kāi Tahu). 

A sample from the extensive Contents pages 

Calman here builds on his previous revision (the 2004 Reed Book of Māori Mythology) with greater identification of sources, updated te reo usage, and more gender-neutral language that ‘generally try and bring it into the twenty-first century,’ as he writes in his note to this edition. 

The new title draws on an expression commonly found in haka, referring to the proximity that humans potentially have to the gods. ‘I could think of no better title for this collection, with its stories of gods and people, and of the many other beings who sit on the continuum between the two,’ Ross writes. 


He Atua, He Tangata begins with the creation of the universe, the separation of Rangi and Papa and the creation of woman, then reviews the pantheon of atua (gods), the overworld and the underworld. Then come the story cycles of the demigods Māui and Tāwhaki, and tales of supernatural peoples including patupaiarehe, ogres and witches, taniwha and giant birds.


Later chapters are grouped into legends of the earth, ocean and sky, tohunga and makutu, and giants and flying men, with eight timeless legends of love in conclusion. 


‘The stories within this volume are a remarkable testament to the wisdom that is to be found in the body of Māori mythology,’ Ross reflects. 

‘I hope that this book will continue to function as an accessible reference work and entry point into these traditions, as it has done in different guises for the nearly sixty years that it has been in print.’


Gracing the jacket is a reproduction of the painting Rongonui by distinguished artist Sandy Adsett (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Pāhauwera). Six contents pages and almost thirty pages of index assist navigation of the 400-page book, helped by a reading ribbon.

Oratia Books is publishing He Atua, He Tangata on 6 October.


The author and editor

A.W. Reed (1908–1979) was one of New Zealand’s most influential writers and publishers. He helped build A.H. & A.W. Reed into the country’s leading publisher, and authored more than 200 books. His works on Māori mythology have served New Zealanders for several generations. 

Courtesy Auckland Libraries

Ross Calman is an esteemed author, editor and licensed translator whose other books with Oratia are Favourite Māori Legends and The Treaty of Waitangi. Last year saw the release of his superb translation of the biography of Te Rauparaha. Ross lives with his family in Wellington.

Publication: 6 October 2021  |  RRP $59.99  |  ISBN:  978-0-947506-88-9

Jacketed hardback, 240 x 160 mm, 400 pages, b&w

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