For Such a Time as This: Dr Monty Soutar
The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards shortlisted novel, Kāwai, by Dr Monty Soutar ONZM (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Awa, Ngā Tai ki Tāmaki, Ngāti Kahungunu) has remained on the New Zealand bestseller list ever since it was released. The first in a planned trilogy, it met an appetite to bring to life the pre-colonial history of Māori. Soutar had an epiphany that told him to leave his job, sell his house, and write the series as a takoha – his gift to the nation. A historian with a ONZM for services to Māori and historical research, he has previously published acclaimed books on the Māori Battalion and the New Zealand Pioneer Battalion. For his fictional series he drew on a lifetime of research into the whakapapa and oral traditions of his own ancestors, beginning with the birth of Kai-tanga near Ruatoria. He shares his journey with Stacey Morrison (Te Arawa, Ngāi Tahu).