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Winners of Waikato District Libraries Matariki competition celebrated

Matariki competition 2016 winners

The winners of the Waikato District Libraries Matariki competition have been recognised at a prize-giving held in the Council Chambers.

Waikato District Libraries encouraged people to celebrate Matariki (Maaori New Year) through the written word and the arts, by writing a short story or poem or designing a book cover.

“Matariki is a special time of the year that is gaining momentum, that our libraries are thrilled to support,” says Customer Delivery Manager Angela Parquist. “The Matariki celebration is a great way to encourage our communities to engage with their local library creatively.”

The age categories were 5-9 years old, 10-15 years old and 16 years and over. 

The competition was judged by artist Paul Bradley, Tuakau author Janet Pates and Raglan resident Nadine Rogers.

The winners are:

Book cover

16 years and over:

  • Winner: Eden Wawatai, from Ngaruawahia
  • Runner up: Des Maskell, from Orini 

10-15 years old:

  • Winner: Toni Comins, from Huntly
  • Runner up: Oshyn Johnson, from Huntly

5-9 years old:

  • Winner: Ioka Joliffe, from Raglan
  • Runner up: Dillinjah Strickland, from Huntly

Short story
16 years and over:

  • Winner: Wirihana Eriepa, from Ngaruawahia
  • Runner up: Lauren Hughes, from Te Kauwhata

10-15 years old:

  • Winner: Emma Woods, from Huntly
  • Runner up: Brooke Shead, from Huntly

5-9 years and over:

  • Winner: Ivy Brunskill, from Raglan
  • Runner up: Alexis Muru, from Huntly


16 years and over:

  • Winner: Cheryl Williams, from Huntly
  • Runner up: Heather Burke, from Raglan

10-15 years old:

  • Winner: Paige Lennox-Tuhimata, from Tuakau
  • Runner up: Pippa Hall, from Te Kowhai

5-9 years old:

  • Winner: Isaac Muru King, from Huntly
  • Runner up: Tyson Finn, from Maramarua

Judges bios

Paul Bradley works at Creative Waikato and sits on the trust of Te Ohu Whakaita, a group set up to support and promote Matariki celebrations throughout the Waikato. As an artist, Paul enjoys the creative expressions that are often central to these celebrations. 

Janet Pates is a member of the Franklin Creative Writers Group. She has written two junior novels, ‘Mystery at Tui Bay’ and ‘AKA Peabrain’ and her work has also been published in the School journal. For adults she writes short fiction and articles mainly on local history subjects. 
“Matariki a time to reflect on the year which has passed and prepare for the year ahead,” says Janet. “This competition is an excellent way to foster its observance.”  

Nadine Rogers is the Sponsor Liaison at Philips Search and Rescue Trust and has a close connection to Waikato District Libraries as a customer and Raglan resident.
“Matariki is a time to connect as a community and celebrate the wealth of culture within our district,” says Nadine. “Acknowledging customs and beliefs through the arts is a fantastic way for everyone to be involved in this special time of year. Matariki gives us opportunity to reflect on the past and welcome the future. It is a time to give thanks and learn about the land we live on and what those who have gone before us and their contribution to our community and district. It is a great time to spend family and friends sharing knowledge and history. Matariki gives us an opportunity to express one’s culture, beliefs and understanding in a creative way.”