Convenor of judges Pauline (Vaeluaga) Smith, MNZM, is an author, and an educationalist with a career spanning 25 years. She has been a classroom teacher, lecturer for Otago University and was a founding member and General Manager of Māori and Pasifika cultural arts trust Mīharo. Pauline’s heritage is Samoan, Tuvaluan, Scottish and Irish and she is based in the small rural Southland town of Aparima/Riverton. Her first book, My New Zealand Story: Dawn Raid, won the Best First Book award and was shortlisted in the Junior Fiction category at the 2018 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, and received a Storylines Notable Book award in 2019. Pauline has worked extensively alongside the Polynesian Panthers over the past four years producing and touring the Dawn Raids – Educate to Liberate exhibition around Aotearoa.
Adele Broadbent is a children’s bookseller, reviewer, author and self-confessed book nut. Reading and writing stories since very young, she became an author herself in 2006 with the School Journal, then with Wendy Pye Publishing with an ongoing series of educational titles. Her novels have received Storylines Notable Book awards and were finalists in the 2012 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards and 2015 LIANZA Children and Young Adult Book Awards. Two years as a weekend children’s librarian fanned the fire and she began to build What Book Next.com – an online tool for young book lovers, parents, teachers and librarians. Adele has been a children’s bookseller for ten years, now with Wardini Books in Napier.
Kyle Mewburn is one of New Zealand's most eclectic and prolific writers. From multi-layered picture books like Old-Hu-hu and Hill & Hole to laugh-out-loud junior fiction series Dinosaur Rescue and Dragon Knight, her titles have been translated into eighteen languages and won numerous awards including New Zealand Post Children's Book of the Year in 2009. She was Children's Writer-in-Residence at Otago University in 2011 and President of the New Zealand Society of Authors from 2013-2017. Her memoir, Faking it: My life in transition, was published by Penguin in 2021. A regular and popular speaker at schools and literary festivals, Kyle lives in a house with a grass roof she built herself near Millers Flat in Central Otago.
Laura Caygill is an experienced public librarian, based in Ōtautahi. She loved finding new books in her school library from an early age, and at university her small collection became a lending library for fellow students. No surprises that, despite a small sojourn as a journalist, she ended up working in public libraries, where stories are part of her work every day. After 10 years with Auckland Libraries Laura returned to the mainland and now works as the Community Experiences and Diversity Team Leader for Waimakariri Libraries. In her spare time Laura sings with Atlas Voices and the CSO Chorus, and she recently began learning Te reo Māori. She can be heard reviewing books on RNZ’s Nine to Noon.
Ko te tuanui o tōku whare, ko te Ranginui e tū nei! Ko te paparahi ko Papatūānuku e takoto nei! Ko ngā maunga whakahī, ngā poutapu rau! Ko Rahiri kei te kōruru! Ko Ruki Tobin tēnei e kōki nei! Tēnā koutou!
Ruki Tobin is the Kaihautū / Director Ratonga Māori at Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, National Library of New Zealand. Ruki is a raukura of Te Aho Mātua and graduated with his Masters in Tikanga from the University of Waikato. He is also a graduate of Te Panekiretanga o Te reo Māori, the former institute of Te reo Māori excellence. As Kaihautū, Ruki is working with the National Library leadership team to progress the organisation’s aspirations to meet its Tiriti obligations and embed Te reo Māori, Tikanga Māori and Te ao Māori tirohanga as standard operating practice. Ruki was a judge for Te Kura Pounamu in 2021, and for the 2022 awards he is bringing his deep knowledge of Te ao Māori and Te reo Māori to both the English language and Te Kura Pounamu judging panels.
Ko Ranginui te tuanui, ko Papatuānuku te paparahi Ko ngā maunga, ngā poupou, e kore e nekeneke He uri ahau o te Whare tapu o Ngāpuhi, arā, ko Te Rarawa i te uru, ko Te Aupōuri i te raki, ko Ngāti Kahu i te whiti, ko Ngāti Whātua i te tonga.
Anahera Morehu returns for the second year as convenor of Te Kura Pounamu Award panel, appointed by Te Rōpū Whakahau and Te Rau Herenga o Aotearoa (LIANZA). She is the Kaihautū Māori / Director Māori at Archives New Zealand Te Rua Mahara o te Kawanatanga. Anahera is the Tumuaki Tuākana (Immediate Past President) of LIANZA, and an executive member of Ngā Kaiwhakahau, the National Council of Te Rōpū Whakahau. Reading books to her son when he was a baby reignited her passion for Te reo Māori, and now she reads to her mokopuna. She believes that the Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022-2032) will encourage many more children’s books in Te reo Māori to be published.
Ka hura ka hura te moana uha, ka hura te moana kore, ko tō manawa, ko tōku manawa. Ko Hautina, ko Hautaiki ki te ripia rei ana. Whakahotunuku, whakahoturangi, he roki, he roki hau, he taketake he hurumanu, te moana i rohia. Ko Paikea Arikinui e whanake nei! Ko Horowaitai Roberts-Tuahine e mihi atu nei! Tēnā koutou!
Horowaitai Roberts-Tuahine is an Online Content Service and Rauemi Developer – Te Ao Māori at Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, National Library of New Zealand. Horowaitai is a graduate of Kohanga Reo and graduated with her Bachelor of Education (Huarahi Māori) from the University of Auckland. She is a former teacher in Kura Kaupapa Māori, Māori medium and English medium schools, and her current role supports the implementation and embedding of Te reo Māori, Tikanga Māori and Te ao Māori in Services to Schools, as well as across the wider National Library network.
Hua ki uta, hua ki tai, hua nei ko te ora.
Tēnei ahau he uri nō Te Tai Rāwhiti, nō Te Tai Tokerau me Tūwharetoa anō hoki, e mihi kau atu ana, tēnā koutou.
Te Amohaere Morehu is a communications specialist, with a background in copywriting, brand management, marketing, and digital and social media strategy. Based in Tāmaki Makaurau, she has been involved in developing the communications functions of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Trust, and before that worked for Māori Television, as well as in the United Kingdom. Te Amohaere is a mother of five young tamariki, all of whom speak Te reo Māori as their first language, and she values the time she spends reading books to and with them. He mana nui tō te kupu, he akoranga nui kei roto.