Congratulations to Dame Joan Metge for her success in this year’s Prime Minister’s Awards for Literary Achievement.

19 October 2015

Auckland University Press author Dame Joan Metge will receive the award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to New Zealand non-fiction literature.

The Arts Council Chairman, Dr Dick Grant, commented that these awards “recognise our finest writers, nominated for an extraordinary legacy of literary achievement. This year the recipients represent diverse, but also profoundly New Zealand perspectives. They are leaders in the practice of their craft and throughout their careers have enriched us with insight, imagination, humour and humanity. I extend them my sincere congratulations.”

Dame Joan Metge is a writer, teacher and social anthropologist celebrated for her promotion of cross-cultural awareness, stressing the need to “continue to debate and work out how to relate to each other, with the Treaty as our guide”. Metge has published significant works on cross-cultural communication and on Māori history and society, including:  Korero Tahi (AUP, 2001) and Tuamaka: The Challenge of Difference in Aotearoa New Zealand (AUP, 2010).

In her latest publication, Tauira (2015), Metge introduces readers to Māori methods of teaching and learning, offering a window on a mid-twentieth-century rural Māori world as described by those who grew up there. In preserving this evidence and these voices from the past, this important book also offers much inspiration for the future.

The judges commended Metge for her writing which “honours the imagery of Maori oral communication, bringing her non-fiction writing to life with the wisdom of whakatauki and the richness of metaphor. Her clear voice has made her work readable and accessible; a model for those writing in her footsteps.” On hearing the news Metge responded that she was thrilled to receive this award which recognised New Zealand literature.

Director of Auckland University Press Sam Elworthy said, ‘‘Joan Metge is a national legend. She’s been involved deeply in Maori communities for over 50 years and is one of this country’s great listeners, thinkers, communicators. We’re thrilled to publish her at Auckland University Press and congratulate her on this great award.”