Wairarapa-based teacher, activist and storyteller, Rawiri Smith is well known and respected in the Wairarapa as a man with abundant local knowledge and the power of the story-teller to share it effectively.

In keeping with the role of the oldest living grandchild of his Nanny and Poupou, Ra accepts his responsibility to collect and share the stories of his whakapapa. For its part, the Iwi gathers its own stories and shares them with the rest of the iwi. And for all descendants of the whenua, there is a responsibility to know the true value of their land.

With a deeply felt responsibility to advocate for our environment, Ra wants to share with Wai Word the concept of “environmental writing as a voice that we as New Zealanders work with. I want to ask New Zealanders to think how we connect to the land, so we might all reflect how we are tangata whenua. Can all New Zealanders be Tangata Whenua?

“The opportunity for writing to be an expression of our identity does not need to be limited to a book or from the need for a book to be commercially successful. We can write from many platforms. We can write for an audience that values environmental wellbeing, cultural wellbeing and social wellbeing. Writing can now be about the small audience as well as the wide audience.“

This Wai Word event is supported by Carterton Creative Communities and Almo’s Books.

Entry by Koha – hosted at the Carterton Community Courthouse.  More details here.

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