Huia Publishers is an award-winning independent publishing company based in Wellington, New Zealand. The company was established in 1991 by Robyn Bargh to bring Māori voices in New Zealand literature by promoting Māori writers, Māori language and Māori perspectives. Huia has undertaken the challenge of exploring the stories and aspirations of the people of Aotearoa New Zealand. The company is now under the leadership of Brian Morris and Eboni Waitere.
Many of the company’s books feature the Māori language or the experiences of Māori. Huia has an extensive list of publications that range across genres and have recently begun translating classic children's books into Māori, including Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are and Julia Donaldson's The Gruffalo. In 2006 Huia published the first Māori monolingual dictionary Tirohia Kimihia.
Huia publishers, in conjunction with the Māori Literature Trust, started New Zealand’s first Māori writers awards in 1995 under the name of the Māori Literature Awards, it was later changed to E Tuhi! and is now called the Pikihuia Awards for Māori Writers. The awards are held biennially and aim to encourage Māori writers to publish their work. Finalists and winners of the awards attend an awards evening and have their stories published in Huia anthologies. There have been 11 editions of the anthology published from 1995 to 2015. There is also a category for secondary school students to enter their short stories, and entries can be written in English or in Māori language.
The Pikihuia Awards have helped raise the profile of authors such as James George who wrote Hummingbird, a finalist in the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for best book in the South Pacific region. Other authors that have won Pikihuia Awards are Kelly Ana Morey and Paula Morris.
Te Papa Tupu Writing Incubator
Aligned with the Pikihuia Awards, Te Papa Tupu encourages the further development of Māori writers through a mentor programme. Since 2010 Te Papa Tupu has been held biennially and gives six chosen Māori writers the opportunity to work on their manuscripts with a writing mentor for a six-month period. The aim of the incubator is to provide support and guidance to Māori writers to help them complete their manuscript so that it can be published. From 2010 to 2016 there have been six authors whose books have been published: Jacqui McRae, Mark Sweet, Tihema Baker, Whiti Hereaka, Fred Te Maro and Eru Hart.
The Huia Spasifik Short Story Awards
The Huia Spasifik Short Story competition was held in 2005 and again in 2006 to support and develop Pacific writers. The awards was a joint initiative by Huia Publishers and Spasifik magazine. Finalists for the first awards were published in Niu Voices.
The Huia was a native bird to New Zealand that became extinct in the early 20th century. The bird was valued by Māori and considered sacred, their feathers were restricted only for people of high status. The bird’s distinct wattle colour and tail feather pattern, along with the female’s unique curved beak was such a curiosity for Europeans that hundreds of birds were killed and sent overseas to be displayed in exhibitions, as a result of its valued and habitat destruction the bird became extinct. The Huia bird symbolises how unique treasures can be destroyed if left unprotected. Many Māori songs (waiata) and proverbs (whakataukī) describe how the Māori language is a treasure to be protected.
- Ngā Kī by Sacha Cotter. New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, Māori Language Award 2015.
- The Value of the Māori Language by Rawinia Higgins, Poia Rewi and Vincent Olsen-Reeder. Ngā Kupu Ora Awards, Te Reo Māori award 2015.
- Tahoe by Chris Szekely. LIANZA Children's Book Awards, Te Kura Pounamu Award 2014.
- Bugs by Whiti Hereaka. New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, Young Adult Fiction Award 2014.
- Ngā Waituhi o Rehua by Kataraina Te Heikoko Mataira. New Zealand Post Book Awards, Māori Language Award 2013.
- He Kōrero: Words Between Us by Alison Jones and Kuni Jenkins, designed by Sam Bunny. PANZ Book Design Awards, Best Educational Book 2012.
- The Scent of Apples by Jacquie McRae. IPPY Awards, NZ/Australia Region Fiction award 2012.
- Ngārimu: Te Tohu Toa illustrated by Andrew Burdan. CLL Educational Publishing Awards, Best Book in Secondary Education 2011.
- The Adventures of Vela by Albert Wendt. Commonwealth Writers Prize, Asia Pacific Region 2010.
- Beneath the Māori Moon: An Illustrated History of Māori Rugby by Malcolm Mulholland. Ngā Kupu Ora Māori Book Awards, History award 2009.
- Te Tau Ihu o Te Waka by Hilary and John Mitchell. Montana New Zealand Book Awards, History Book Award 2008.
- Oh Hogwash Sweet Pea! by Ngareta Gabel, illustrations by Ali Teo and Astrid Jensen. New Zealand Post Book Awards, Children and Young Adults category, Children’s Choice Award 2004.
- Eruera Manuera by Te Onehou Phillis. Montana New Zealand Book Awards, Honour Award 2002.
- Te Wao Nui a Tane by Hirini Melbourne, illustrations by Te Maari Gardiner. New Zealand Post Book Awards, Children and Young Adults category, Non-Fiction Award 2000.
For a full list of Huia authors visit www.huia.co.nz
- The New Zealand Writer's Handbook
- Writers & Artists' Yearbook