Interview with Kāterina Mataira

Book Cover of He Pukapuka Tuhi Kupu Ma Nga TamarikiName: Kāterina Mataira DNZM

Date of birth: 13 November, 1932

Date of death: 16 July 2011

Place of birth: Tokomaru Bay

What is your favourite food?


Do you have a nickname and if so what is it?


What was your most embarrassing moment?

Receiving a patu paraoa as a gift of honour "before I died".

How do you relax?

Playing golf.

Who inspired you when you were little?

My dad - who told wonderful stories.

What were you like at school?

Loved every minute.

What was your favourite/most hated subject at school?

Found every subject fascinating.

What was the book you most loved as a child?

We had no books. I read the Children’s Corner in my mother’s English Women’s Weekly.

Which person from the past would you most like to meet?

Hine-I-paea - who allowed herself to be taken as a slave-wife by Pomare after he had killed both her husband and father. She came to love him. How was she able to transcend the violence?

Who is your favourite author/children’s author?

Roald Dahl, opens a new window.

Why did you want to be a writer?

To cement the ideas and stories which grew out of my personal experiences.

Do you have a special place where you write your books?

At my computer in the corner of my bedroom.

What’s the best thing and worst thing about being a writer?

Reading my own writing and enjoying it is the best thing.

Reading earlier works and wishing I could trash them is the worst thing.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you like to be?

An artist.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Write for your own stimulation and pleasure before all else.

Read some books by Kāterina Mataira

This interview is from 2002.

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