Welcome to Gisborne City NZ by Author: Witi Ihimaera

Witi Ihimaera   Introduction by Witi Ihimaera

       (Gisborne District's prominent New Zealand author)

'Witi Ihimaera's The Whale Rider, Pounamu, Pounamu,and other books are published by Penguin New Zealand.'

Welcome to Gisborne city

       from Witi Ihimaera - NZ author...

    Nga Taonga O Te Whenua -

           The treasures of our land.

This is a Maori greeting welcoming all visitors to Gisborne and the East Coast.


While you are here you are ‘waewae tapu’, our very special guests, and we look forward to your visit. We want you to enjoy the taonga, the treasures of our land.


Our first treasure is our environment, The Gisborne District is renowned all over the world as the first place to receive the morning sun. Perhaps it is because of this that we have always been a horticultural and pastoral paradise.


We are certainly not a ‘Poverty Bay’ and we hope that you will find this in your explorations of bush, beach, river and mountain. Incidentally we also have some of the best swimming and surfing beaches in the world and, unlike Waikiki, they are not overcrowded.


Our second taonga is the Maori people, whose heritage of arts and culture has made Turanga (the maori name for Gisborne) unique. You are in the lands of the Ngati Porou, Rongowhakaata, Te Aitanga A Mahaki, and Ngai Tamanuhiri.


You are also being hosted by the Kahungunu, Tuhoe, Whakatohea, and Te Whanua A Apanui. These maraes and historic gathering places are amongst the finest in New Zealand.. If you have the opportunity please try to attend a Maori gathering. It is only by doing this that you can obtain the full feeling of Maori aroha (love) and awhina (hospitality).


The third taonga is the gifts which European settlement have brought to the district. Gisborne was the first place sighted by James Cook, the pakeha discoverer of New Zealand. Subsequent migrants have made our region a place where the visitor can sample infinite delights - a thriving prosperous community with an annual calendar of events including agricultural fairs, rodeos, arts and cultural festivals and sporting meets.


We also boast some fine restaurants, theatrical and musical events, river rafting, deep sea fishing and farm pursuits like horse riding.

If you like your holiday in the rural vein, you’ve come to the right place.


Witi Ihimaera, Gisborne Author

Ihimaera Witi 150230 Whale Rider; Pounamu, Pounamu; and many others...

"Most of my short stories, novels and plays are set in Gizzy or Te Karaka, Whangara and Tolaga Bay, mainly because that's where Mum and Dad came from.

In Pounamu, Pounamu, for instance, there is one story called "The Other Side of the Fence" which is about a Pakeha family which comes to live next door to a Maori family in Haig Street, Te Hapara.

Notebook K Kaiti Hill sm  In my novel, The Rope of Man, there's a scene set on top of Kaiti Hill;

if you feel like it you should go up there and read the relevant chapter to yourself!

    The Whale Rider is of course set out at Whangara, where the original Paikea landed, but there's also scenes set in Sponge Bay and on Wainui Beach. Bulibasha, King of the Gypsies is set in Waituhi;
I'm really looking forward to film adaptation which Lee Tamahori is directing. And in my next collection of short stories, The Thrill of Falling, the title story takes place in Tolaga Bay.

And why do I keep on writing about Gizzy? Well, as friends say to me whenever I do anything not quite urban-Auckland and stylish, "You can take the boy out of Gizzy, but you can't take Gizzy out of the boy!"
'Witi Ihimaera's The Whale Rider, Pounamu, Pounamu, and other books
are published by Penguin New Zealand.'

Witi Ihimaera's Books >>>

Witi Whale R 150230 Witi PP 150231 Witi Ihimaera Book