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Main Details

Title Waitapu
Authors and Contributors      By (author) Helen Margaret Waaka
Physical Properties
Dimensions(mm): Height 198,Width 130
Category/GenreShort stories
ISBN/Barcode 9780994118615

Publishing Details

Publisher Escalator Press
Imprint Escalator Press
Publication Date 5 October 2015
Publication Country New Zealand


Helen is thrilled her stories of belonging and reconnection, whānau and aroha, survival and heartbreak are being increasingly read by college students in Aotearoa in English classes.

Beneath a range of mountains lies the rural town of Waitapu. Here, sisters Ruby and Rowena reconnect, Mereata feels her tipuna like a breath on the back of her neck and Harriet goes missing from the rest home. With a cast of lively characters, this collection of 18 short stories cracks open the image of rural tranquillity, to reveal the heartbreak and kindness of everyday lives. Helen Waaka was the winner of the 2011 Pikihuia Award for Best Short Story Written in English. With this collection she asserts herself as a perceptive and compelling story teller.

More information at the publishers website, reviews, excerpts, more about the author.

Author Biography

Helen Waaka, Ngati Whatua, Nga Puhi, Ngati Torehina, has a Graduate Diploma in Creative Writing from the Whitireia Creative Writing Programme. She also has a Bachelor of Nursing and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Women's Health. She currently works as a nurse in Hawke's Bay. In 2011 she was the winner of the Pikihuia Award for Best Short Story Written in English, and in 2013 she received a Highly Commended Award in the Pikihuia Novel Extract Written in English category. Helen's novel extract 'Eyes of God' was shortlisted by judge Witi Ihimaera for the 2015 Pikihuia Award for Best Novel Extract Written in English and was published in Huia Short Stories 11.


‘A new voice in Māori, and New Zealand, writing. These characters will be familiar to all readers: they’re the neighbours we think we know. Helen’s stories take us inside their lives.’ Tina Makereti