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Kapiti island's first Māori writer's residency

Kapiti Island to host first ever Māori writer's residency

Tau mai e Kapiti We salute you Kapiti
Whakataretare mai ki te rangatahi e hao nei. Gaze upon the youth that gather here.
Waikāhua, Waikātohu, e mau ki ngā mana i Who shall say who will take hold of the
ngakia e koe. authority vested in you?
Ūhia mai rā te manaakitanga a ngā tūpuna Bestow the blessings of those ancestors
kua wehe ki te pō who have passed on
hei mauri whakakaha i te hinengaro As an empowering life-force for the minds
o Tama, o Hine e pae nei.* and imaginations
Of the children gathered here.*

Kapiti Island will host New Zealand's first ever Māori writer's residency during Matariki, 2008.

The 'Tau mai e Kapiti' Māori Writer's Residency, funded by Te Waka Toi / Creative New Zealand and hosted by Kaitiaki o Kapiti Trust, will allow a Māori writer to live and work on the northern end of Kapiti island for eight weeks. The writer will also be paid a stipend of $4,800.

John Barrett of Kapiti Nature Lodge says the writer will live for two months from June to July 2008 amongst the families on the island, but in his or her own separate accommodation.

"The idea is that they get a chance to hear some of the stories of the island, historical and contemporary, and to create their own writings in this extraordinary environment," he says.

Minnie Clark from the Trust says it's the first time any kind of artist's residency has been offered
on the island, and as far as they're aware there are no other residencies in the country aimed
specifically at Māori writers.

"At the moment the residency is a one-off," she says,'but if there's enough support and
enthusiasm, we would love to think it could become an annual event."

The northern end of Kapiti includes the island's last remaining Māori-owned land, adjoining the
internationally regarded predator-free nature reserve Kapiti is well-known for. The northern end is
currently the home of the Barretts and their extended whānau, descendants of the Ngāti Toa, Te
Āti Awa and Ngāti Raukawa confederation. The Barrett whānau run the Kapiti Nature Lodge.

(*Excerpt from 'Tau mai e Kapiti', pātere composed by Kīngi Tahiwi, 1930s.
Ends Lyrics and translation from 'Kāti au i konei', Charles Te Ahukaramū Royal, Huia Publishers, 1994)

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