Thursday, February 26, 2015

In praise of: Piopio

I have just finished editing a book by Bruce Ansley about the back roads of New Zealand. The first time I worked with Bruce was on Coast, which won its category, Illustrated Non-fiction, in the 2014 NZ Post book awards. So far, so good. Proven winning combination. And it’s a dream job editing him because he is such a good writer and also, I discovered when I met him last year, a top bloke. But!

But in the manuscript Bruce, who is, frankly a South Islander, said something dismissive in passing about Piopio, which is in the King Country (North Island) and I admit is not a thing of beauty. But my father was born and raised there and the half of my relatives who are not buried in Canvastown (South Island) are buried there. So I intervened.

Editing is not all about grammar and punctuation, you know. Sometimes it’s about sticking up for one’s turangawaewae.

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