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Rāhui Wins Two at LIANZA Awards


8 August 2012
Rāhui Wins Two at LIANZA Awards

'Rāhui' by Chris Szekely and Malcolm Ross continued with two more award wins at the LIANZA awards Monday night.

'Rāhui' won the Russell Clark Award for Illustration which was awarded post-humously to Malcolm Ross.

“Malcolm Ross has gifted an aura of another layer of intonation in these paintings that we can only describe as mysteriously manly, a joyous celebration of young men at play, as well as gripped in grief,” said judge Ms Walsh.

Alice Heather, convenor of judges for the Te Kura Pounamu, for which the te reo Māori version of Rāhui was shortlisted, said the story tackled a difficult subject matter. “The story is told with respect and aroha without being sentimental. The illustrations open the story up to the future and invite discussion.”

'Rāhui' also won the inaugural Librarians’ Choice award, voted for by librarians across the country. Ms Walsh said the medal was a chance for the profession to give something back to the best authors in the nation. “We are dedicated to connecting children with books. We wanted to celebrate the authors by gifting our appreciation to one each year from this year forth. Thank you all so much for providing touchstones for young people.”

Another HUIA book produced for the Ministry of Education, 'Te Poiwhana' by Te Kauhoe Wano won the Te Tohu Ngā Kete e toru for te wahanga pukapuka paki (fiction), one of four prizes awarded by Te Rōpū Whakahau, the organisation for Māori Librarians. Ms Heather, Māori Advisor for School Services at the National Library in Auckland, said the book, about a soccer-mad boy whose father wants him to play rugby, had a great message for young Māori about following their dreams.

Ms Heather said it was disappointing to see less than half the usual amount of books in te reo Māori entered for the awards. “There weren’t any non-fiction titles, which may be due to the lack of Ministry of Education contracts to produce non-fiction for schools. For children to grow up with te reo Māori as their first language it is essential to have the world around them explained in their own language. They need non-fiction books to do this.”

Awarded by Librarians for outstanding children's literature in New Zealand, the Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa Awards are for excellence in junior fiction, young adult fiction, illustration, non-fiction and te reo Maori.
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