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Latest blog post 

Writer in Residence: Week Three

Hinemoana Baker


...or: questions which are currently exercising me

Before I bore you with this list, check out the new edition of Turbine. I have a poem in there called Magnet Bay Farm, and you can read it and also listen to it.

Now, to the questions.

  • Is it possible to unlock the door of this office and simultaneously pull down the handle so entry to the room can occur without putting my bag down?
  • Why do I ‘hold back on my karanga’, as my cousin has said, even though she says I have the voice for it, and I have learned enough basics about it to get me through?
  • Who painted the word ‘oh!’ on the pavement between Fairlie Terrace and the gate through which I normally enter the university grounds? Did they use a paintbrush or a nearby stick? Or their finger?
  • Who spilled the white paint in which that word is written? When?
  • What would make an adult want to inflict cruelty on a child by inflicting cruelty on their toys?
  • Why, until now, have I never used the word ‘adherent’ in a sentence, when it is such a superb word?
  • Why, when official records pertaining to loved ones are locked in stacks or storage, does it somehow feel like the loved ones themselves are locked in there?

Hinemoana and Ultramarathoner

  • How is that my childhood friend has become a famous ultra-marathon runner?
  • How can she run over 2,000km? How can she run for days in 57-degree heat?
  • How can the 18-month old standing beside me on the black and white lawn in Bell Block in Taranaki now be eleven feet tall and made of muscles?


  • What is the correct protocol for staying in places which have a reputation for being haunted?
  • Does one mention this when making the booking?
  • Is it ok to ask to be accommodated in the most haunted part of the building?
  • Or is a proprietor likely to take offence?

And finally:

  • Is it ok to stay at the National Library and listen to the live music that has just started up in the cafe, despite the fact that it’s past their stated closing time of 5pm and I seem to be pretty much surrounded by staff of the National Library?