New Zealand author and poet Witi Ihimaera chats to Charlotte Ryan about his writing, his life, and chooses some of his favourite songs (spoiler alert, he's very funny!)
Witi Ihimaera is one of the best-known names in New Zealand literature. Most Kiwis will have read at least one book penned by the Gisborne-born novelist, short story writer and playwright - works such as The Whale Rider, The Matriarch and Pounamu Pounamu. He was the first Māori writer to publish both a book of short stories and a novel. He is of Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki descent and was made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2004 for services to literature. In 2009, he received the Te Tohu Tiketiki a Te Waka Toi award, the highest honour given by Maoridom in the arts. He received an Arts Foundation Laureate the same year. His 2016 memoir Māori Boy won the Ockham NZ Book Award for Non-Fiction and in 2017 he was honoured with the 2017 Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement.