Storylines Children’s Literature Charitable Trust of New Zealand | Te Whare Waituhi Tamariki o Aotearoa


Moira Wairama

Moira Wairama was born in Wellington, educated St Michael’s Taita, Taita College, Wellington Teachers Training College, and Victoria University.

Moira is a Wellington writer and storyteller specialising in bi-lingual tellings of Māori legends and in creating original New Zealand stories. Together with her partner Tony Hopkins, she performs stories throughout New Zealand as Soul Food Tellers.

She is an award winning writer for children in both English and Māori and also writes for radio and theatre. Her most recent book, Arapū Toi illustrated by Austin Whincup, was a finalist in the 2020 New Zealand Children’s Book awards.

Moira has facilitated community writing workshops for Read NZ Te Pou Muramura for both adults and children resulting in published work that reflects different cultural voices. Moira also works part time supporting literacy programmes at a local kura kaupapa Māori.



Selected bibliography:

  • Arapū Toi, illustrator Austin Whincup (Baggage Books 2019)
  • The Mother’s Child, iIllustrator Linda Tilyard, (Baggage Books 2015)
  • Ngā Taniwha i te Whanga-nui ā- Tara, illustrator Bruce Potter (Penguin Group 2011)
  • The Taniwha of Wellington Harbour, illustrator Bruce Potter (Penguin Group 2011)
  • Te Pouaka Karetao, illustrator Bruce Potter (Scholastic 2007)
  •  The Puppet Box, illustrator Bruce Potter (Scholastic 2007)
  • Alphabet Art, illustrator Austin Whincup (Cycoda 2001)

Anthologies for children:

  • The Curioseum – Rupe and the Kuri (Te Papa Press 2014)
  • Pick’n’Mix Volume 1 – Fairies in the Computer (Scholastic 2010)



  • Readings of The Taniwha of Wellington Harbour / Nga Taniwha i te Whanga-nui -a-Tara (Bagagge Books 2015)



  • New Zealand Book Awards 2020 Finalist for Arapū Toi
  • LIANZA Te Kura Pounamu 2012 for Ngā Taniwha i te Whanga-nui ā Tara
  • LIANZA Te Tohu Te Taurapa 2012 for Ngā Taniwha i te Whanga-nui ā Tara
  • Storylines Notable Books 2012 for Ngā Taniwha i te Whanga-nui ā Tara
  • Storylines Notable Picture Book 2008 for The Puppet Box
  • Storylines Joy Cowley Award 2006 for The Puppet Box


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