Skip to content
Reviewed by Cassidy Grace, Assistant HOD of English, Hamilton Girls' High School, Hamilton
Opening sentence
My bones feel heavy with the weight of the pains my tūpuna carried.
This anthology is a beautifully constructed collection, composed by all Māori writers. Throughout, the reader is exposed to a range of diverse and unique pieces which are in both Te Reo Māori and English. Each piece of writing is a celebration of Māori ideas, passions and talent.

The writing is split up into three sections; fiction, non-fiction and poetry. At the end of the collection there is also a blurb about the authors’ of each piece. This is helpful, if you are looking for material to include into your kura, based on “place-based learning”. Teaching in the Waikato, I found that I might use poetry by Ana Maria King as she is from Waikato and in her poem she mentions “black sand” and “Mōkau” which many ākonga in the Waikato are familiar with.

Works like “And we didn’t disappear, we are still here” by Hana Pera Aoake resonated with me as a reader as it encouraged me to think about whose truth we see in museums and how Māori need to be represented better to show our prestigious mātauranga. The other standout piece was the poem “Scarred native tongues” by Hannah Urupikia Rapata which is about reclaiming the language. Both pieces would work well together for a senior level class to discuss the importance of stories and the oppression of language and culture.

Overall, this book gives voice to some amazing Māori writers who all shared their experiences and values through writing.
Author & Illustrator: Various authors
Publisher: Huia Publishers
ISBN: 9781775508212
Format: Paperback
Publication: July 2023
Ages: 15+ years
Themes: Māori voices and culture