The sounds of kapa haka performed by children from the combined Featherston schools will greet you as you take your seats at Featherston Booktown’s now famous Opening Night Fish’n’Chip Supper.
We will be welcomed by Mana Whenua Kaumātua Paora Ammunson before we tuck into delicious freshly-made-on-the-spot fish and chips, with coleslaw followed by ice cream.
MC Liz Mellish will guide us through the evening which includes a speech by Witi Ihimaera, one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most distinguished and prolific writers.
Fifty years after his landmark short story collection 'Pounamu, Pounamu' was published, Witi Ihimaera makes his first ever appearance at Featherston Booktown.
Of Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki descent, with close affiliations to Tūhoe, Te Whānau-a-Apanui, Ngāti Kahungunu, and Ngāi Tāmanuhiri, and links to Rongowhakaata, Ngāti Porou, and Te Whakatōhea, he was the first Māori writer to publish a collection of stories and the first to publish a novel ('Tangi' in 1973). A novelist, short story author, playwright, script writer, anthologist, and librettist, Witi was appointed a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2004 and received a Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement in 2017.
Chair of Featherston Booktown, Peter Biggs will wrap up the evening with a few words of thanks.