Kiri Piahana-Wong

Ngāti Ranginui

Kiri Piahana-Wong is a poet, writer and editor of Ngāti Ranginui, Chinese and Pakeha (English) ancestry. She was born in Taumaranui and has spent most of her life in Auckland’s North Shore. Kiri was educated at Rangitoto College and was awarded the top Māori female scholarship in the Bursary exams in her final year. She spent a year sailing, working and travelling overseas and then returned to pursue BA LLB at the University of Auckland which she completed in 2000. She then moved into the publishing arena and worked as an in-house Legal Editor for Brookers in Wellington and then Auckland. In 2006 she returned to the University of Auckland to pursue English literature graduate studies. Studying Pasifika Poetry with Selina Tusitala Marsh was a turning point in Kiri’s development as a writer and she points to her 2007 conversion to Catholicism as another significant event in her life. Kiri founded her own publishing company Anahera Press in July 2011 and works as as a freelance writer, poet and editor in 2008 and has completed a poetry collection Sunlight on the Water and is working on a a novel.

Kiri "has published her work widely in journals and anthologies in NZ and Australia, including Mauri Ola: Contemporary Polynesian Poems in English, The NZ Poetry Society Anthology 2008, Bravado, Blackmail Press, Sidestream, Snorkel , Trout and The Lumiere Reader. Kiri is also an MC at Poetry Live, NZ's longest-running live poetry venue. She lives in Auckland.

She is the author of the poetry collection Night Swimming (2013), and she serves as the publisher of Anahera Press. Her work has appeared in many journals and anthologies, most recently in Essential New Zealand Poems (2014), A Treasury of NZ Poems for Children (2014), Dear Heart: 150 New Zealand Love Poems (2012), and Puna Wai Kōrero (2014). Piahana-Wong is a former emcee at Poetry Live, New Zealand’s longest-running live poetry venue."

Biographical sources

  • Email correspondence from Kiri Piahana-Wong 23 Oct. 2008.
  • 9 September 2016


  • "Immigration and Race Relations." Ko Ngā Take Ture Māori, Te Mata Koi: Auckland University Law Review 9.1 (2000): 222-234.
  • Piahana-Wong writes that this is a ‘5000 word article critically examining biculturalism vs. multiculturalism, from a Māori perspective.’
  • Other

  • "It Was A Time Of Heartbreak." Blackmail Press 23.
  • "From: Unfinished Notes To Self." Blackmail Press 23.
  • "Listen." Secrets: Blackmail Press 24.
  • "After the Sun." Secrets: Blackmail Press 24.
  • "Frogs." Secrets: Blackmail Press 24.
  • "Deep Water Talk." Ezine Snorkel 2 Oct. 2005.
  • "Leaving." Bravado 12 2007.
  • "My Fortunate Day." The Lumiere Reader July 2008.
  • "Not Another Story About Love." The Lumiere Reader July 2008.
  • "Of Books And Bookcases." The Lumiere Reader July 2008.
  • "A Life." NZPS 228 Anthology Before the Sirocco Nov 2008.
  • Commended in NZ Poetry Society International Poetry Competition in 2008.
  • "Without Words." Secrets: Blackmail Press 24. Rpt. in Ora Nui. Rpt. in Beattie’s Book Blog – unofficial homepage of the New Zealand book community. 2012.
  • Dear Heart: 150 New Zealand Love Poems. Ed. Paula Green. 2012.
  • Poetry

  • "Kiri Piahana Wong." Blackmail press (2009).
  • "Tidelines; Night swimming; Matariki." Trout (Nov 2010).
  • "It was a time of heartbreak : ka pa mai te pouri i taua wā ; Deep water talk". Mauri ola : contemporary Polynesian poems in English. Ed. Albert Wendt, Reina Whaitiri and Robert Sullivan. Honolulu : University of Hawaiʻi Press, c2010.
  • "On Commerce St." Kiri. J.A.A.M (2011): 23-25.
  • "This is it; Without words; In the night kitchen." Ora nui, 1 (2012): 80-82.
  • "Four paintings." The years hold hands. Auckland, N.Z.: Lopdell House Gallery, 2012.
  • "Evening gossip about the weather; The line." Takahe (2013): 65.
  • "Hinerangi (extract from 'Tidelines'); Black door." Ora nui, 1 (2014): 121-123.
  • Puna wai kōrero : an anthology of Māori poetry in English. Ed. Robert Sullivan and Reina Whaitiri. Auckland, N.Z. : Auckland University Press, 2014.
  • "Hiding." Overland. Issue 219, (winter 2015). Melbourne : O. L. Society Limited, 2015.
  • Twelve heavens = Ngā rangi tekau-mā-rua = Doce cielos : a trilingual anthology of Māori poetry. Auckland, New Zealand : Letras Latinas Publishing House, 2016.