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HUIA Book Wins NZ Post Book Award

Journalist, playwright, author and producer Chris Winitana (Ngāti Tuwharetoa and Ngai Tuhoe - pictured) was presented with the New Zealand Post Māori Language Award for his book, 'Tōku Reo, Tōku Ohooho : My Language, My Inspiration'; a book that explores the struggle to save the Māori language over the last 40 years.Chris Winitana photo_WEB.jpg

New Zealand Post Book Awards judge and Māori language advisor, Paora Tibble said that as a te reo Māori publication, 'Tōku Reo, Tōku Ohooho' is groundbreaking.

'Chris Winitana mixes traditional language with modern metaphors. He shows te reo Māori as a living language; creating new contexts for words and phrases buried in our not too distant past. His knowledge of te reo is remarkable. With this book, Chris Winitana takes us on the adventure of a lifetime. For 40 years, Māori have fought to revitalise their language. This is their story.'

As Chris describes his work, 'This book weaves together the many independent threads of action undertaken by a great number of people to ensure the survival of the Māori language. It follows the efforts of Māori from 1972 and the petition for the Māori language to bring our language out of the shadows and into the light'.

'Tōku Reo, Tōku Ohooho' is also available in an English edition 'My Language, My Inspiration'.

The New Zealand Post Book of the Year Award winner received $15,000. The Māori Language Award winner and the winners of the four Category Awards each received $10,000 and the People's Choice Award winner $5,000.

Chris attended the awards ceremony with his wife, Tina-Marie, and Robyn and Brian Bargh from HUIA Publishers.