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Witi Ihimaera

Writer [Te Whānau a Kai]

With his 1973 book Tangi, Witi Ihimaera became the first Māori to publish both a novel and a book of short stories. Later his book The Whale Rider inspired a feature film which won international acclaim, and became one of the highest grossing 'foreign' titles released internationally in 2003. Ihimaera's work has also seen a number of television adaptations, including landmark big city tale Big Brother, Little Sister.

I belong to a proud tradition of Māori story-teller on one side and a great tradition of New Zealand writers going all the way back to Katherine Mansfield. It's a fabulous whakapapa. Witi Ihimaera in the NZ Herald, 2004