The book that's been turned into a movie, White Lies, was named one of five winners at Thursday night's fifth annual Maori Book Awards, held in Wellington.
The event celebrates the talents of Maori writers, and includes categories such as non-fiction, biography and a special award section.
The chair of the three member judging panel and a senior Massey University lecturer says the awards had been created as a result of other major book awards consistently failing to acknowledge Maori authors.
The winner of the fiction section was White Lies: Tuakiri Huna by Dana Rotberg and Witi Ihimaera. It's a story about a Maori medicine woman who's asked to keep a secret.
He Papakupu Reo Ture - A Dictionary of Maori Legal Terms by Mamari Stephens and Mary Boyce won the Maori language award.
Te Onehou Phillis took out the special award for the book Maumahara: The Memories of Te Onehou Phillis - an autobiography she wrote so her whanau would understand her upbringing.
Bradford Haami's book Ka Mau te Wehi: Taking Kapa Haka to the World following the lives of well known kapa haka performers, Ngapo and Pimia won the biography section.
While the non-fiction award was won by the book He Puna Iti i te Ao Marama: A Little Spring in the World of Light by Henare Tate - which explores how Maori protocols and Maori christianity work together.