Victor Rodger to convene Maori and Pasifika Creative Writing Course

Acclaimed Samoan-Scottish dramatist Victor Rodger will convene the new writing course at Victoria University of Wellington. Te Hiringa a Tuhi is the Māori and Pasifika Creative Writing Workshop at the university’s International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML).



Victor Rodger, the current Creative New Zealand / Victoria University Writer in Residence, says he is looking forward to leading the workshop.


During his residency, the acclaimed dramatist and essayist has been writing fiction, as well as developing new work for theatre.


“After over twenty years of writing, I’m still figuring it all out, but I’ve picked up a few things along the way and I’m looking forward to sharing that knowledge,” he says.


Te Hiringa a Tuhi was established in 2014 by award-winning writer Tina Makereti, assisted by leading poet Hinemoana Baker.


Under their guidance, students studied Indigenous writing across different genres and produced a wide range of creative work.


Writing by one of these students, Debbie Broughton, was the inspiration for the recent ‘Magical Māori Mystery Tour of Wellington’ light box displays on Courtenay Place.


Mr Rodger’s first piece of fiction was published last year in Landfall, and was subsequently included in the Māori and Pasifika anthology, Black Marks On The White Page, edited by Witi Ihimaera and Tina Makereti.


Read our thoughts on Black Marks On The White Page in issue 70 of Spasifik Magazine, out now.


His personal essay ‘Voyage Round My Father’ was published this year in The Best of E-Tangata.


He is well-known for his groundbreaking plays, including Black Faggot, which was published this year along with At the Wake and Club Paradiso.


His television writing credits include Shortland Street and the acclaimed Māori Television series This Is Piki.


His new play, Uma Lava, was presented in the 2017 Kia Mau Festival in Wellington and will also be presented as a work in progress by Auckland Theatre Company later this year.


Damien Wilkins, IIML Director, says, “We’re delighted that Te Hiringa a Tuhi will continue under Victor’s guidance. He’s a great supporter of emerging artists and he’s a lot of fun to hang out with and learn from.”


Te Hiringa a Tuhi is a practical writing paper for students who wish to produce fiction, creative non-fiction, drama or poetry that is informed by Māori or Pasifika perspectives, cultures and origins, the process of colonisation, or questions of identity and belonging.


In addition, students with Māori or Pasifika heritage are free to write literature that does not directly address these subjects.


Te Hiringa a Tuhi will run in twice-weekly classes from 10 January – 17 February 2018. Applications close on 1 November 2017.


For more information on the course go to the course page.