Author(s): Katerina Te Heikoko Mataira
This science fantasy novel in te reo Maori follows four teenagers living on Rehua, a planet settled after Earth is destroyed by ecological disasters and global war. The four raise hokio, giant mystical birds, which take them on flights to explore their new world. On one flight, they discover an island with another colony of people, and here, they are given a quest to interpret hieroglyphic message drawn on cave walls. Deciphering these symbols leads them to appease the feared tipua wheke, a gargantuan octopus, and help the Turehu, fair-skinned sea fairies, who have discovered a way to return to Earth.
Finalist for LIANZA Te Kura Pounamu (te Reo Māori) 2013
Winner of New Zealand Post Book Awards: Maori Language Award 2013.
Shortlisted for LIANZA Children's Book Awards: Te Kura Pounamu 2013.
Katerina Te Heikoko Mataira was a teacher, an artist and at the forefront of Maori language revival. She was a foundation member of the Maori Language Commission, awarded an honorary doctorate in 1996, and made a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2011. She published several award-winning picture books in te reo Maori and her novels Te Atea, Makorea and Rehua in te reo Maori were ground-breaking works.