Skip to content
Makereti, Tina
Writer's File

Tina Makereti

Wellington - Te Whanganui-a-Tara
Makereti, Tina
In brief
Tina Makereti is a fiction writer. She has also been recognized for her non-fiction, winning the Royal Society of New Zealand Manhire Prize for Creative Science Writing (Non-fiction) in 2009. Makereti holds a PhD from the International Institute of Modern Letters. She has twice won the Fiction award at the Ngā Kupu Ora Māori Book Awards, first in 2011 for her short story collection Once Upon a Time in Aotearoa (2010), and again in 2014 for her debut novel Where the Rekohu Bone Sings (2014).
  • Primary publisher
    Penguin Random House
  • Rights enquiries
    Author website:, or Huia Publishers, PO Box 17-335, 39 Pipitea St, Thorndon, Wellington
  • Publicity enquiries
    As above


Makereti, Tina (–) is a fiction writer of Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Te Ati Awa, Ngāti Rangatahi and Pākehā descent. She teaches creative writing and literature at Massey University and Victoria University of Wellington, and is currently Curator Māori for Museums Wellington.

Tina Makereti’s writing has appeared in a range of literary journals, magazines and anthologies including the NZ Listener, Huia Short Stories 8, Hue and Cry 4, JAAM 27 and Turbine 08.

Makereti completed an MA in Creative Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters in 2008. The following year, she won the Huia Publishers Best Story Award for Best Short Story Written in English, and the Royal Society of New Zealand Manhire Prize for Creative Science Writing – Non-fiction. Also in 2009, Makereti recieved the Pikihuia Award for Best Short Story.

Her first collection of stories, Once Upon a Time in Aotearoa, was released in 2010 by Huia Publishers. Once Upon a Time in Aotearoa explores a world where mythological characters and stories become part of everyday life; where old and new worlds co-exist, cultures mingle, and magic happens. ‘Bold and sexy, this collection is a crafty combo of mystery and history that makes the old new' wrote award-winning author David Geary.

David Hill wrote in his review of Once Upon a Time in Aotearoa, ‘Makereti is able to take a moment and examine its reality, even as she turns it into something symbolic and transcending…she writes lyrically – lushly on a few occasions. There’s excellent, crackly dialogue, and there’s a satisfying awareness of what to leave out, as well as what to include.’

Tina Makereti won the inaugural Fiction award at Ngā Kupu Ora 2011, the third Māori Book Awards, for Once Upon a Time in Aotearoa.

Makereti completed a PhD in Creative Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters, Victoria University of Wellington in 2013. She was the 2014 Creative New Zealand Randell Cottage Writer in Residence.

Her debut novel, Where the Rekohu Bone Sings, was published by Random House NZ in 2014. It has been described as 'remarkable' first book that confronts the issues of violent domination and cross-cultural conflict with flair and subtlety. Louise O'Brien reviewed the novel for the NZ Listener: 'Where the Rekohu Bone Sings is a thoughtful tracing of the complexity of being Moriori, Māori and Pākehā and of finding a place of belonging between cultures. That it does all this while also telling a compelling story is impressive indeed.'

For her novel Where the Rekohu Bone Sings, Tina Makereti won the fiction award at the 2014 Ngā Kupu Ora Aotearoa Māori Book Awards. The book was also longlisted for the Dublin Literary Award 2016.

Makereti's short story "Black Milk" was the Pacific Regional Winner for the 2016 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. The overall winner will be announced in June, but in the meantime, Makereti's story will be published online by prestigious literary magazine Granta.

Makereti is currently working on a novel about a young Māori man who was exhibited in the Egyptian Hall in London in the 1840s.


  • Tina Makereti’s website
  • Tina Makereti's twitter
  • An interview with Makereti about her short story "Black Milk"
  • Book Council e-newsletter interview feature with Tina Makereti
  • Otago Daily Times Review - July 2010
  • Radio New Zealand Arts on Sunday Interview with Lynn Freeman
  • New Zealand Herald Canvas Magazine Book Review by David Hill
  • Manawatu Standard Profile - June 2010
  • Tina Makereti interviewed by Craig Cliff