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 M ori voices in New Zealand literature by promoting M ori writers, M ori language and M ori perspectives.
Many of the company s books feature the M ori language or the experiences of M ori. Huia published the first M ori monolingual dictionary in 2006 Tirohia Kimihia.
The company now also publishes books by Pacific authors. Leading Pacific writers such as Albert Wendt and Karlo Mila have published with Huia Publishers.
Huia publishers, in conjunction with the M ori Literature Trust, started New Zealand s first M ori writers awards in 1995 under the name of the M ori Literature Awards, it was later changed to E Tuhi! and is now called the Pikihuia M ori Writers Awards. The awards are held held biennially and aims to encourage M ori writers to publish their work.
Finalists and winners of the awards have been published in the M ori Short Stories series and Ng Pakiwaitara a Huia, the M ori language version of the series.
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 Paul Morris.
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 M ori 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 M ori songs (waiata) and proverbs (whakatauk ) describe how the M ori language is a treasure to be protected.