Te Kaituhi Māori Professional Development


We’re drawing from the collective strength and knowledge of our community of Māori writers to essentially create a whata for our excellence to sit on. Ruby Solly (Kāi Tahu, Waitaha, Kāti Māmoe) and essa may ranapiri (Ngaati Raukawa, Te Arawa, Ngaati Puukeko, Clan Gunn) have each created a toolkit module for kaituhi Māori. These modules will be living artefacts that can feed many generations of writers. 

The Writer Toolkit is our professional development offering, with multiple modules released. Our Toolkit is an online learning platform that offers writers a wide range of modules on writing and the writing life by our leading authors and industry professionals. All sessions comprise of static content you can work through alone, or with your writing group or regional hub meeting. Each module contains notes, exercises, and suggestions for further reading on the topics.

Writer Toolkit Modules

What is the whakapapa of the world you’re writing?

Ruby Solly

Headshot of Ruby Solly PC: Ebony LambWhat is the Whakapapa of the World you’re Writing? What has gone in to creating this place of your own imagining? This toolkit module looks at how we build the whakapapa of our imagined and re-imagined worlds within our writing as Māori writers. We will look at different exercises and experiments to help us bring out this whakapapa, to highlight it within our work. Join us to explore the worlds of our kaituhi, and to craft spaces of our own to explore. A module suitable for all genres, we look at ahua, aesthetics, lore, whakapapa, and more in a module designed to value play, creativity, and our potential as creators of our own worlds that descend from us as Māori.

Ruby Solly (Kāi Tahu, Waitaha, Kāti Māmoe) is a writer, taonga pūoro practitioner, and doctor of public health. She has had poetry published in Aotearoa, Australia, America and Antarctica, and has had two books of poetry long listed for the Ockham book awards; ‘Tōku Pāpā’ (2020) and ‘The Artist’ (2023). As a taonga pūoro practitioner, musician and composer, she has worked with artists such as Tararua, Trinity Roots, the Auckland Philharmonia, and Yo-yo Ma. Within all her work, world building and story telling are the waka and winds that drive her forward.

Photo credit: Ebony Lamb

The module will be ready soon. Register your interest 

Where are your bones?

essa may ranapiri

Headshot of essa mae ranapiri with ponga behind them. PC: Kelly Joseph (Ngaati Maniapoto)

There is a focus in western canon on the writer as a literary traveller outside of society and particularly isolated from it, and from their room of isolation they can produce works of stunning brilliance. This kind of thinking ignores the ways in which we reproduce society and are a part of it. All writing is in conversation and to literalise this conversation is one of the most empowering things you can do as a writer. Rowley Habib one of our writing tuupuna asked the question of Keri Hulme, ‘where are your bones?’. This has gone on to inform multiple texts stretching from then to now. I will be speaking to poems from authors such as Hulme, Isla Huia, Jessica Hinerangi, Robert Sullivan and Rangitūnoa Black, to explore the ways in which story is a bone we pass between each other, and how when we write in and for community our work really sings.

essa may ranapiri (Ngaati Raukawa, Te Arawa, Ngaati Puukeko, Clan Gunn) is a poet who lives on the whenua of Ngaati Wairere. They have two collections of poetry ransack (2019) & ECHIDNA (2022) published by Te Herenga Waka University Press. In 2023 ranapiri was the recipient of the Janet Frame Poetry Award and the inaugural Keri Hulme Award. They are a PhD candidate through Otago University looking at poetry by kaituhi takataapui and what their work adds to understanding of takataapuitanga and atua. They are co-editor of the literary journal Kupu Toi Takataapui with Michelle Rahurahu. They have a great love for language, LAND BACK, and hot chips. They will write until they’re dead.

The module will be ready soon. Register your interest 


Te Kaituhi Māori will be hosting a kōrero with experts on Intellectual Property, copyright protections and its implication for Māori exploring WAI 262 and story sovereignty.

Register your interest 


NZSA is grateful to the Ministry of Culture and Heritage Manatū Taonga for its support: