Patricia Grace book wins NZ Books Children & Young Adults Te Kura Pounamu Award

Cover image Whiti Te RaLast night, the book written by distinguished author Patricia Grace 'WHITI TE RĀ!' won the Te Kura Pounamu award for the best book in te reo Māori at the annual NZ Book Awards for Children & Young Adults.

Translated by Kawata Teepa, 'WHITI TE RĀ!' is the Māori language version of the title 'HAKA' which tells the story of the great Ngāti Toa chief Te Rauparaha and how he came to compose the famous haka 'Ka Mate, Ka Mate'.

The judges applauded this book: “Its stunning artwork and simple language are used to convey an inspiring message of overcoming challenges. Suitable for all ages, this book is a riveting read that will capture hearts and minds.”

As a certified translator, Kawata found Patricia Grace's text easy to translate. 'Patricia's text for HAKA was beautifully written in English for translation into te reo Māori' said Kawata. 'I think mainly because, although the language was English, the concepts were Māori and they were told from a Māori perspective, which then made it easy to translate into te reo Māori.'

Patricia Kawata

Patricia Grace with translator Kawata Teepa

The books were illustrated by award-winning illustrator Andrew Burdan who, along with illustrating other children's stories, has previously storyboarded for films District 9, Aliens in the Attic and Without a Paddle.

'WHITI TE RĀ!' is available from and all good bookstores.