Helen Margaret Waaka
Helen Margaret Waaka (Ngāti Whātua, Ngāti Torehina) completed a Graduate Diploma in Creative Writing at Whitireia in 2011. In the same year she won the Pikihuia Award for best English-language short story with Hineraumati. Her stories have appeared in the Huia 9,10 and 11 short story collections. Her first book, short story collection Waitapu, was published by Escalator Press in October 2015 and went on to be listed twice in the Booknotes Unbound list of favourite books for the year. Reina Whaitiri, Pikihuia judge for 2011 and 2013, described the stories in Waitapu as “real, authentic and close to the bone”. Helen works part time as a nurse in rural Hawkes Bay.