November 02, 2023
Nga Moteatea lights spark in Pikihuia poet
The winner of the reo Māori poetry category in this year’s Pikihuia Awards says he was inspired by the waiata, haka and mōteatea collected by Apirana Ngata.
Aperahama Hurihanganui, from Te Arawa, Te Tairāwhiti and Wairarapa, won the award for Hei Hoa Mauroa, which was about his father Hone getting his facial moko done by one of his former Te Aute College students.
He says the collection Ngā Mōteata, which included translations by Pei Te Hurinui Jones, was none of his touchstones as he crafted the words in te reo Maori.
“When you read through those mōteatea and you see their translations it’s poetry in both English and te reo. I guess that’s the inspiration. Obviously, first time entering into a poetry competition so pretty fortunate to take it out,” he says.
Aperahama Hurihanganui says it was a privilege at the awards ceremony to meet fellow young poets as well as inspirations like Apirana Taylor.