In the aftermath of the Christchurch terrorist attacks of 15 March 2019, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared: ‘We are all New Zealanders.’ These words resonated, an instant meme that asserted our national diversity and inclusiveness and, at the same time, issued a rebuke to hatred and divisiveness.
Ko Aotearoa Tatou | We Are New Zealand is bursting with new works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and visual art created in response to the editors’ questions: What is New Zealand now, in all its rich variety and contradiction, darkness and light? Who are New Zealanders? The works flowed in from well-known names and new voices, from writers and artists from Kerikeri to Bluff. Some are teenagers still at school; some are in their eighties. Maori, Pakeha, Pasifika, Asian, new migrants, young voices, queer writers, social warriors… Aotearoa’s many faces are represented in this unique and important compendium. In a society where the arts, especially marginalised arts, are under threat, this anthology shows that creative work can explore, document, interrogate, re-imagine – and celebrate – who we are as citizens of this diverse country, in a diverse world.