Huia Publishing’s Robyn Bargh was recognised as a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year honours list.
PANZ Council President, Kevin Chapman, says Robyn is a highly respected member of the publishing industry. “This honour will give the many publishers who know Robyn well
the satisfaction of seeing her achievements recognised as being important to this country.
“This also reflects well on our industry as a whole.
“It is huge honour for Robyn, Brian and the team at Huia and we extend our warmest congratulations.”
The following has been reprinted by kind permission of the Dominion Post. Report by Sophie Speer, photo by Kent Blechynden
Companion Backing Maori Literature
Robyn Bargh hopes the next two decades will bring more international recognition for Maori authors.
As managing director of Wellington publishing company Huia, Ms Bargh has spent the past two decades fostering Maori writers of fiction and non-fiction and is proud of the company's success.
For her efforts, she was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year Honours – something she felt belonged to everyone who had helped her.
"Publishing is a group effort; a book can't get out with just one person. One person has the idea but to make it happen takes a lot of people."
Huia was formed by Ms Bargh and her husband, Brian Bargh, in 1991, and publishes resources and books, both in Maori and English, written by Maori writers. Resources include videos, magazines and journals, along with fiction and non-fiction books.
Ms Bargh, who lives in Karori, said more people were learning Maori and it was important there were books and resources in Maori to help them.
"In the next 20 years we need to consolidate and develop more Maori language resources. There are so few books, so few novels written in Maori," she said.
For the language to grow it was important for it to be better represented in New Zealand literature.
After visiting the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany, she met people who were interested in indigenous stories, including those of Maori, and others who did not know where New Zealand was, let alone who Maori were.
Ms Bargh said upon receiving a letter from the governor-general informing her of the honour, she had to check on the internet to see what it meant.
"It's a mixture of feelings. I'm feeling surprised, if not amazed, to tell you the truth. It's an honour."