new zealand electronic poetry centre


A P I R A N A   T A Y L O R

12 Taonga



Apirana Taylor was born in Wellington in 1955, of Te Whanau a Apanui, Ngati Porou and Ngati Ruanui descent. In addition to poetry, he has written short stories, criticism and a novel, He Tangi Aroha (1993). Taylor is also an actor and playwright, and was a prominent member of the Maori theatre cooperative Te Ohu Whakaari. He has taught drama and creative writing at Whitireia Community Polytechnic, and has held writing fellowships at Massey University (1996) and the University of Canterbury (2002).



  • Eyes of the Ruru, Wellington: Voice Press, 1979

  • 3 Shades (with Lindsay Rabbitt and L. E. Scott), Wellington: Voice Press, 1981

  • Soft Leaf Falls of the Moon, Auckland: Pohutukawa Press, 1996


  • He Rau Aroha, Auckland: Penguin, 1986

  • Ki Te Ao: New Stories, Auckland: Penguin, 1990

  • He Tangi Aroha, Wellington: Huia Publishers, 1993

  • Bell Bird is Small: Short Stories, Auckland: Pohutukawa Press, 2000


  • Kohanga and Whāea Kairau, Auckland: Pohutukawa Press, 1999


Hinemoa’s daughter
   lo-fi (rm : 220KB, streaming)
   hi-fi (mp3 : 1.2MB ) 

Hinemoa’s daughter

her hair is so long
you could plait it all the way to the moon
and weave it with a sprinkling of stars

she writes poetry
as only the muse can write

when she smiles
she melts the heart of God

‘I’m from Te Arawa she says’

she shows me her litany of scars
they climb like ladders
up the insides of her wrists

deep savage cuts to the bone
speak of her youth and the countless times
she sent herself along the path of the spirits
and sought the solace of Hine nui te po

like her tipuna Hinemoa
she swam the lake
but her lake was of fire and death
broken bottles drunken fights
smashed families shattered and scattered whanau

and she made it
she crossed the troubled water
and found her tane who loves her
more deeply than the heart can tell

in the city of the lost
they raise many fine young children
with aroha




Last updated July 15, 2004