Whiti Hereaka (Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Te Arawa) is a playwright, novelist, screenwriter and a barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing (Scriptwriting) from the International Institute of Modern Letters, Victoria University.
She has had several plays produced in Wellington: Fallow, Collective Agreement, I Ain’t Nothing But/A Glimmer in the Dark She Said, Te Kaupoi and For Johnny. In 2007, Whiti was the writer in residence at Randell Cottage in Wellington, where she worked on her debut novel, The Graphologist’s Apprentice. The Graphologist’s Apprentice was shortlisted for Best First Book in the 2011 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Asia and Pacific. Whiti won Best New Play by a Māori Playwright at the Adam Play Awards in 2010 for Te Kaupoi and again in 2011 for Rona and Rabbit on the Moon.
In 2012, Whiti’s play Raw Men was shortlisted for the Adam New Play Award and she won the Bruce Mason Award. She also held the summer residency at the Michael King Writers Centre in 2012 where she worked on her play Rewena, which debuted in 2013. Whiti was one of the writers selected in 2012 for Te Papa Tupu, a writers’ incubator programme supported by the Māori Literature Trust, HUIA Publishers, Creative New Zealand and Te Puni Kōkiri. Her second novel, Bugs, was published in 2013.
Currently, Whiti is working on her new novel Kurangāituku based on Hautapu and the birdwoman. She is close to finishing the first draft after a long period of challenging work.
Visit Whiti’s Facebook page for more information https://www.facebook.com/whereaka.