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Witi Ihimaera is a giant of Aotearoa writing and culture, to the extent that boiling his achievements down for a bio seems ludicrous. Best known now for his Whale Rider novel, he was one of the first Māori writers published, and his 1972 story collection Pounamu, Pounamu has not been out of print in 40 years. Ihimaera has received many prestigious awards and is a Distinguished Companion of the Order of New Zealand. He has declined a knighthood.