Emerging Māori Writer in Residence

About the residency

The Emerging Māori Writer's Residency was established in 2019 by Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington, with the support of Creative New Zealand. It runs for three months and includes a writing room, a mentor from the Māori arts community, and a stipend of $15,000. Projects may be written in English or te reo Māori and the residency is open to writers across all genres.

Applications are now open for the 2022 appointment, with a closing date of 30 September 2021.

Applications are invited from Māori writers in all areas of literary activity, including drama, fiction and poetry (page and performance), devised performance, creative non-fiction, graphic novels, etc.

See the full role description and application form on the Current Vacancies page of the University's website. Enquiries can be directed to modernletters@vuw.ac.nz.

Applicants should be writers at an early stage of their career, with a growing body of work, and must be either New Zealand citizens or hold permanent residency. There is no restriction on the occupation of applicants, but they should not be full-time employees of Creative New Zealand or Victoria University, nor have been employed on a full-time basis by Victoria University in the twelve months prior to the closing date.

The 2022 Residency will run in the first half of 2022.

We also offer the three-month Emerging Pasifika Writer's Residency, and the full-year Victoria University of Wellington/Creative New Zealand Writer's Residency on an annual basis.

2021 Emerging Māori Writer in Residence—Ani-Piki Tuari (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, Ngāi Tūhoe)

Ani-Piki  is a multi-faceted writer, performer, producer, and educator whose work crosses many fields including theatre, kapa haka, and music. She is a fluent speaker and practitioner of te reo Māori me ana tikanga (Māori language and culture) and composes lyrics and melodies in both te reo Māori and English.

Ani-Piki is an alumna of the University, as well as of Te Panekiretanga o te reo Māori, a reo Māori excellence programme. As an actor she has appeared in plays and on television, including Witi's Wāhine (Hāpai Productions), Purapurawhetū (Te Rehia Theatre Ltd), E kore a muri e hokia (Ruia Taitea Creative Ltd), and on Māori TV programmes Find me a Māori Bride and Ahikāroa After Dark. During lockdown, she presented the Māori-language children's TV show Mauri Reo, Mauri Ora.

She is also a director of documentaries and has been a television programme and music maker and producer. At the 2020 TVNZ awards she won an award for the best reo Māori programme with her team from Scottie Douglas Productions, and in the 2019 Māori Music Awards, she won Best Māori Pop Song, Best Traditional Māori Album and Māori Song of the Year with Te Kākano.

Ani-Piki is an accomplished te reo Māori translator, having won the 2017 Auckland Theatre Award for best adaption piece with her translation of Gary Henderson's Mo & Jess Kill Suzie. She also translated and adapted Ionesco's The Chairs into te reo Māori and, along with popular te reo Māori champion Hemi Kelly, Ani-Piki is co-writing Waiata: A Journey Through Māori Song, which will be published by Penguin Random House in 2021.

'I view this opportunity as another platform in which to contribute to the growth of creative writing from a te reo Māori narrative stance and an iwi-centric worldview that aims to speak to the hearts and minds of all people,' says Ani-Piki.

'E tino mihi ana ki te whare o Te Herenga Waka, te whare hoki o Modern Letters, i whai whakaaro nui mai ki a au.'

During the residency, Ani-Piki will continue to work on her project, Whakapaupākihi, which she describes as the first te reo Māori musical 'birthed in the Māori language, worldview, and practice'.

Previous Emerging Māori Writer in Residence

All photos by Robert Cross.

2020 Talia Marshall (Ngāti Kuia, Ngāti Rārua, Rangitāne o Wairau, Ngāti Takihiku) - portrait not taken due to lockdown