Hawke's Bay Readers and Writers Festival 2021
Dr Karlo Mila
Dr Karlo Mila is a New Zealand-born poet of Tongan and Pākehā descent with ancestral connections to Samoa. She is currently Programme Director of Mana Moana, Leadership New Zealand. This leadership programme is based on her postdoctoral research on harnessing indigenous language and ancestral knowledge from the Pacific to use in contemporary leadership contexts. Karlo received an MNZM in 2019 for services to the Pacific community and as a poet, received a Creative New Zealand Contemporary Pacific Artist Award in 2016, and was selected for a Creative New Zealand Fulbright Pacific Writer’s Residency in Hawaii in 2015.
Goddess Muscle is Karlo's third book of poetry. Her first, Dream Fish Floating, won NZSA Jessie Mackay Best First Book of Poetry Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2006. In 2008, Karlo collaborated with German-born artist Delicia Sampero to produce A Well Written Body. Karlo's poetry has been published in in many anthologies, in a variety of journals and online.
Jacqueline 'Rock' Bublitz is a writer, feminist, and arachnophobe, who lives between Melbourne, Australia and her hometown on the west coast of New Zealand's North Island. She wrote her debut novel Before You Knew My Name after spending a summer in New York, where she hung around morgues and the dark corners of city parks (and the human psyche) far too often. She is now working on her second novel, where she continues to explore the grand themes of love, loss and connection.
Kyle Mewburn is one of New Zealand's most eclectic and prolific writers. From multi-layered picture books (Old-Hu-hu; Hill & Hole) to laugh-out-loud junior fiction series (Dinosaur Rescue; Dragon Knight), her titles have been translated into eighteen languages and won numerous awards including Children's Book of the Year.
She was Children's Writer-in-Residence at Otago University in 2011 and President of the New Zealand Society of Authors from 2013-2017.
Her memoir - Faking it: My transition Story is published by Penguin Random House (2021).
Lil O’Brien is an award-winning copywriter who likes to dabble in all kinds of writing projects on the side, including pieces in The Spinoff, Auckland's queer magazine Express and more. She came out at age 19, in 2004, and her experience contributed to making her passionate about being actively involved in Aoteroa's LGBTQ community. After spending a couple of years telling her coming-out story in New Zealand high schools with Rainbow Youth when she was in her twenties, she was inspired to write down the full story, which became the memoir Not That I'd Kiss A Girl, published last year by Allen & Unwin. It was voted in the Top Ten 'Best of the Best' for 2020 by Auckland Libraries, and South Pacific Pictures have picked up the option to turn Not That I'd Kiss A Girl into a TV series – with Lil co-writing.
Matt Brown Mataio (Matt) Faafetai Malietoa Brown is an internationally acclaimed barber and hair artist and the founder of My Fathers Barbers, the barbershop where men go to heal.
His dedication to reviving the craft of barbering has seen him teach and demonstrate all over the world. While he’s cut everyone from All Blacks to members of Wu-Tang Clan, Matt believes his true calling is his work to redefine society’s view of masculinity — and to help end the cycle of domestic violence affecting families throughout the world.
Matt, a New Zealander of Samoan descent, together with his wife Sarah (Ngapuhi/Te Rarawa), founded the anti-violence movement She Is Not Your Rehab. In 2019, he outlined the kaupapa of She Is Not Your Rehab in a powerful TEDx Talk that continues to inspire today.
Matt regularly collaborates with community and government organisations in New Zealand and abroad and hosts a men’s anti-violence support group from his barbershop, enabling men to access free therapy and support. He is the creator and facilitator of a barbering programme taught in men’s prisons throughout New Zealand and a Corrections NZ patron. He is also an ambassador for the It’s Not OK campaign with the Ministry of Social Development. He was a 2020 Westfield Riccarton Local Hero and a finalist for the Kiwibank New Zealand Local Hero of the Year award.
Matt and Sarah are proud parents to three and reside in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Professor Scotty Morrison
Scotty is the author of the bestselling language guides Maori Made Easy (winner of the 2016 Nga Kupu Ora Maori Book Award – Te Reo Maori), Maori Made Easy 2, The Raupo Phrasebook of Modern Maori, Maori at Work and Maori at Home, which was co-authored with Stacey.
In 2019, Scotty was awarded the inaugural Te Tohu Korurenga Hau Culture Change award by Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori, The Maori Language Commission, for his leadership and innovation as a teacher of te reo Maori.
Scotty lives in Auckland with Stacey and their three children, Hawaiki, Kurawaka and Maiana.
Roger Hall’s first stage play, Glide Time, was produced in 1976, and was a smash hit throughout the country. His next play, Middle Age Spread, was equally successful throughout New Zealand, and also went to the West End where it ran for 15 months and won Comedy of the Year Award, and has since been seen in nine other countries.
He has been writing a stage play almost every year since then, plus musicals and pantomimes.
He has written more than 70 sitcom episodes for TV, from Gliding On to Spin Doctors, and had two series of the comedy Conjugal Rites made and screened in the UK.
Recent plays have included Who Wants to be a Hundred (Anyone Who’s 99); Four Flat Whites in Italy; A Short Cut to Happiness; Book Ends; You Can Always Hand Them Back, Easy Money and Winding Up.
He has been awarded a QSO, an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Victoria University, the Prime Minister’s Award for Achievement in Literature (the first playwright to get this recognition) and was made KNZM in 2019.
Stacey Morrison (Te Arawa, Ngai Tahu) is a radio and TV broadcaster whose projects have spanned 25 years. She is also a mama to three young tamariki who have been brought up with te reo Maori as their mother tongue. Stacey herself didn’t learn to speak Maori until she was an adult. It required a lot of research, determination, wonderful mentors and the support of a community to achieve her goal of becoming fluent by the time her children were born. Stacey and her husband Scotty co-wrote Maori at Home to help other families use te reo in everyday settings, and Stacey's first children's book, My First Words in Maori, became a number-one bestseller. Both Stacey and Scotty work with many groups and families to build Maori-language friendships and community for whanau.
Stacey has also been an advisor on pre-schooler and children’s TV shows, which, along with her experiences with her own children, has helped her identify the words children pick up early in their language learning. As a winner of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori Champion Award in 2016 and a graduate of Te Panekiretanga o te Reo (the Institute of Excellence in Maori Language), Stacey loves encouraging the learning and use of our country’s beautiful native language.
Tina Clough was born in Sweden and lives outside Napier, where she divides her time between writing crime novels, translating and editing medical research papers and looking after an acre of fruit trees, vegetable gardens and hens. Tina is married and has two daughters.
Present and former interests include reading and writing, driving and diving, camping and kayaking, and inventing new jam flavours.
Two of Tina’s favourite sayings are “Do it today, tomorrow might be busier still” and “All it takes for evil to triumph, is for good people to do nothing.”
Tom Sainsbury is an actor, comedian, writer and social media star, famous for his Snapchat impersonations of characters such as politician Paula Bennett, wine reviewer Fiona and Gingerbread the Cat. Tom lives in Auckland, New Zealand, but was born and raised on a dairy farm in Matamata.
Tusiata Avia is an acclaimed poet, performer and children’s writer. Avia won the Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry for her collection The Savage Coloniser Book (Victoria University Press) in the 2021 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. She is the first Pasifika woman ever to win this award. Her previous poetry collections are Wild Dogs Under My Skirt (2004; also staged as a theatre show, most recently Off-Broadway, winning the 2019 Outstanding Production of the Year), Bloodclot (2009) and the Ockham-shortlisted Fale Aitu | Spirit House (2016). Tusiata has held the Fulbright Pacific Writer’s Fellowship at the University of Hawai‘i in 2005 and the Ursula Bethell Writer in Residence at University of Canterbury in 2010. She was the 2013 recipient of the Janet Frame Literary Trust Award, and in 2020 was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to poetry and the arts.