New Voices

image-19All four sessions we went to at the exciting annual Going West (Books + Writers Festival)  in the Titirangi Hall last Sunday morning were stimulating.

Barbara Brookes talked about the writing of her recently published A History of New Zealand Women, a wonderfully inclusive and thoughtful work, turning many common ideas about  our nation’s story (especially regarding women’s roles – and the absence of them)  inside out.

Sue Orr and Helen Margaret Waaka read from their novels of small-town and rural New Zealand, showing that although there’s a dark side to their stories there is also light and hope.

A panel of leading journalists shared their view on the changing landscape of journalism and the media (Giovanni Tiso, Simon Wilson, Paula Penfold, Sara Vui-Talitu)- and remain anxious… but hopeful….

Four migrant women writers from Rene Liang’s New Kiwi Women Write workshops read to us from their latest work: Gloria Poupard-Walbridge, Katerina Patitsas, Amelia Homs Ferrer….and Himali McInnes, whose prose-poem, inspired by her visits to Tiritiri Matangi Island, enchanted us.

(  )


Himali McInnes

Himali writes from an inside-out perspective : and she has given us permission to print it in full: see The Bird Watchers


  1. Thanks for that…I’ll be interested to read the ‘History of NZ women’. I am currently going through my Nana’s glory box and have found letters that span almost forty years from my Mum to Nana, her Mum. They begin in the months before her wedding and become less frequent as phone calls become cheaper. It has been very special to ‘see’ her as a woman, as opposed to a Mother, recounting her joys and frustrations. I spoke to someone at Auckland Central library and they have expressed a desire to see them placed in their care. Mum’s life wasn’t extraordinary but she said these are the voices we don’t have. The ones that raised children and supported their men.

    • Charmaine and Tanya says

      Lovely to read your comments, Tricia; I’m sure you’ll find Barbara’s book insightful because she has searched for the evidence from women of the times, like your mother’s letters – and what a treasure to find! One of my treasures is my mother’s diaries, which she kept for about 30 years right through till her 90th year. Hope all your family are well. Nga mihi ki a koe, Charmaine

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.