Viki Moananu named as 2023 Emerging Pasifika Writer in Residence at Te Herenga Waka

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington’s International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML) is delighted to announce Viki Moananu as the 2023 Emerging Pasifika Writer in Residence.


Viki will receive a stipend of $15,000 from Creative New Zealand to work on two plays featuring queer Pasifika characters and detailing the decline of mental health access within the Pasifika community. He will also be supported by a mentor, funded by the University.

Based in Wellington, Viki has a growing list of accomplishments in theatre, including winning the Adam New Zealand Play Award for Best Pasifika Play 2023 for Icky. His play Beard was nominated for this year’s Regional Theatre Best New Short Play and won Best Play Performance in a Short Play. In addition, he was awarded the Most Promising Emerging Pasifika Artist for The Ghost Show in 2022 as part of The New Zealand Fringe Festival. He has also hosted the podcast Minority Alert, a weekly podcast hosted on Wellington Access Radio.

Viki says he is excited by the chance to concentrate on his writing.

“This award feels like safety and hope in a world where racist and queerphobic attacks against writers, artists, and our communities continue to happen. These opportunities come so few and far between one another that I feel like I’ve been given a lifeline within the creative industry. Writing is an escape to me, so I literally cannot put into words how demonstrably awesome this all is!”

Professor Damien Wilkins, director of the IIML, said, “We’re thrilled to host Viki. His writing is fresh, funny and bold. The residency now has a history of giving writers that extra boost and we’re excited to see how Viki’s work develops.”

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