Whiti Hereaka

Phone: 04 463 6854
Fax: 04 463 6865
Email: modernletters@vuw.ac.nz

Whiti convenes the IIML's CREW 255 Writing for the Young Workshop | He Tuhinga mā ngā Tamariki.


Whiti Hereaka (Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Te Arawa, Tūhourangi, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Tumatawera, Tainui and Pākēha) is a graduate of the International Institute of Modern Letters MA in Creative Writing (Scriptwriting, 2002) and an award-winning writer for both children and adults across media.

Her adult fiction includes the novels, The Graphologist's Apprentice, which was shortlisted for Best First Book in the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Asia/Pacific region) in 2011, and Kurangaituku (2021), which won the Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for fiction in the 2022 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. Both books are published by Huia.

Her books for young adults include the  acclaimed novel Bugs, (Honour Award, Young Adult Fiction, New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, and Storylines Notable Book Award, Senior Fiction, 2014); and Legacy, a time-slip novel about the Māori Contingent in WWI, which won the Young Adult award at the 2019 NZ Book Awards for Children and Young People.

Whiti has had many plays produced for the stage. She won the Bruce Mason Playwrighting Award in 2012, and Best New Play by a Māori Playwright at the Adam New Zealand Play Awards for Te Kaupoi (2010) and Rona and Rabbit on the Moon (2011).

She  is the co-editor of Pūrākau an anthology of Māori myths re-told by contemporary Māori writers. She has also written stories for the School Journal, and is a script writer for Pukeko Pictures' animated TV series The Kiddets. She has mentored emerging Māori writers for Te Papa Tupu — an incubator programme run by the Māori Literature Trust.

In 2021 she was awarded the NZSA Peter & Dianne Beatson Fellowship.

Read more

Read NZ Te Pou Muramura profile

Huia author profile

Playmarket profile

'Knot Worthy' - an essay (Verb)

Whiti Hereaka novel takes the $60,000 prize at Ockham Book Awards (Stuff, 11 May 2022)

How a Māori Legend won NZ's top book award (Whiti interviewed by Kim Hill on RNZ,  14 May 2022)

Course Information

Read more about CREW 255 Writing for the Young Workshop | He Tuhinga mā ngā Tamariki, including timetable and fee information and a downloadable course flier.