Poster for a fundraising celebration held in Dunedin by the Hone Tuwhare Charitable Trust (October 2014)
Kia kaha e hoa! is a common New Zealand expression from the Maori language, meaning "Stay strong, friend".
I have been blessed in my role as trustee of the charitable organisation Janet Frame founded, to have walked along my path with many friends from many other estates and trusts and organisations whose work in the literary 'gardens' of New Zealand enriches Kiwi culture and protects precious literary taonga (treasures) for society now and for the future generations.
Some of the friends I have made have been my mentors, and for others I have been able to offer support or just listen and understand the unique challenges we face. What luck to find myself in a de facto 'club' where we are all doing something so positive, so creative, so valuable for the literary heritage of our country and for posterity as well. I have worked particularly closely with the guardians caring for the legacy of Janet Frame's friends and contemporaries James K. Baxter, Charles Brasch, Allen Curnow, Hone Tuwhare and Frank Sargeson.
Times are hard for literary charities in New Zealand and for the arts in general, but there is a generosity and a camaraderie to be found among those working or volunteering for organisations that make it their business to promote and protect the legacy of their author or a specific literary goal and to inspire new generations to discover the wonder of reading good literature and maybe even writing it themselves.
Here are just some of those literary trusts (and individuals, couples and groups) who are working for the good of literature in a country where - as Janet Frame was wont to point out - the love of Mammon and sport take more than their share of the attention and resources:
Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust Awards
The New Zealand Book Awards Trust.
Allen Curnow Estate
Denis Glover Estate
James K Baxter Trust
Charles Brasch Estate
Also see: various Literary Festival Trusts