Please note: unfortunately this session has been cancelled.

Event for Secondary School age group (Years 9 - 13)

Tokerau Brown and Michaela Keeble are the creators of picture book Paku Manu Ariki Whakatakapokai, about Paku Manu Ariki who talks to navigate questions he has about where he belongs within a world shaped by his father’s mātauranga, his mother’s politics, his many pet birds, and his best friend who is taller, even though he’s younger. The book is born from the experience of growing up in a strong Māori whānau in a country and wider world that offers a conflicting version of what is right and of value. In this session illustrator Tokerau Brown and writer Michaela Keeble talk about their artistic journeys: where they started, how they met, and where they’re going now.

Michaela and Tokerau will talk together for 30 mins before student interviewers join them on stage to interview them (20 mins). The final 10 mins will throw to the audience to catch impromptu questions from the student crowd.

Following the live event, Tokerau and Michaela will be available to sign books (which will be for sale at the venue thanks to Unity Books).

A lover of birds, fish and social justice, Michaela Keeble is a descendant of UK, Austrian and German immigrants, and grew up on Wurundjeri land. She's now lucky to live in Aotearoa with her partner and kids. Michaela's first full-length collection of poetry, surrender, was published by Taraheke | BushLawyer in May 2022, and long-listed for the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. Her chapbook intertidal about change underway in our oceans was published in early 2020. Her children’s book, co-authored with her son Kerehi Grace and illustrated by Tokerau Brown, is Paku Manu Ariki Whakatakapōkai, published by Gecko Press.

Tokerau Brown is a Cook Islands Māori illustrator and multimedia artist. Co-director of Māori Pasifika art gallery Wheke Fortress, Brown is also a musician, audio engineer and animator.


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