Home' Auckland City Harbour News : June 21st 2013 Contents New voice: Nandita Mathur will feature in the latest compilation of writing from the New Kiwi Women Write Their
Photo: AMY BAKER
Group boosts female
By AMY BAKER
I wanted to be with people
who were trying to write,
because I was doing
Six months ago Nandita Mathur
wouldn't have dared to call herself
a writer, let alone announce to her
friends that she had ambitions to
work on a novel.
That is until the Delhi-born
Aucklander participated in a
month-long series of writing work-
shops, New Kiwi Women Write
This Sunday the group will be
launching their second book New
Beginnings, a compilation of work
from mid-year writing workshops
held at the Sandringham Com-
Ms Mathur emigrated to New
Zealand 11 years ago with her
husband and says one of the
reasons for joining the workshop
was to make a connection.
I felt too far away from that
role of writer, writing and people
who write,'' she says. I wanted to
be with people who were trying to
write, because I was doing the
Before coming to Auckland, Ms
Mather worked in community
development and public health, as
well as writing plays and teaching
drama in various settings, includ-
ing at schools.
She is no stranger to the dra-
matic form but says writing requi-
res an understanding of the differ-
ence between oral story telling
telling a story on the page.
When you're writing a story,
you have to use words differently,''
That becomes the discipline
part of it, to see whether you were
able to project what was happen-
ing to your characters in your own
mind for the reader.''
She say that the powerful group
dynamics of the workshop contri-
buted hugely to the success of the
There were 28 women in total,
from countries as diverse as South
Africa, France, Ireland and India.
I found the teachers and
students very generous,'' Ms
Everybody who came had so
much genuine interest and pas-
sion in creating a new voice.''
New Kiwi Women Write Their
Stories was started in 2012 by
second-generation Chinese Kiwi
writer Renee Liang when she was
approached by the Auckland
Council to develop a writing work-
shop for migrant women.
The workshops run for four
weeks and are led by a diverse
range of New Zealand writers.
Each week is focused on a dif-
ferent aspect of writing, such as
basic principles, poetry, prose,
editing and performance.
Ms Mathur says the sense of
migration, isolation and change is
a bond all the women in the work-
One of the things you lose most
when you move is your sense of
art,'' she says. It's not a priority
for you; it's not something you
want to invest in immediately.''
Despite the initial challenges,
Ms Mathur says she now feels as
at home'' in Auckland as she does
This sense of belonging is reflec-
ted in her work and she says she
finds it hard to confine her stories
to any one single place or culture.
Ms Mathur says the book is like
opening a new door'' to her
future, which she hopes will hold
time for cooking classes, food writ-
ing and work on a novel.
I feel more confident about
being able to write a book after
the workshop,'' she says.
They [the tutors] genuinely
made you feel that you were just
one of them, that just did it'.''
New Beginnings will be laun-
ched on Sunday from noon till
2pm at Ferndale House, 830 New
North Rd, Mt Albert.
Amy Baker is an AUT
Youth focus reflects population
Aucklanders are being called to
speak up on the important
issues facing our children and
Developed with Auckland
Council's youth advisory panel,
the Children and Young People's
Strategic Action Plan is a new
initiative aimed at improving
the prospects of children and
young people aged from 0 to 25.
People aged under 25 years
old make up 40 per cent of Auck-
land's population -- that's bigger
than the population of the
Wellington region,'' mayor Len
The online action plan was
developed using the comments
of more than 5000 Aucklanders
aged under 25 years, which were
gathered during the develop-
ment of the Auckland Plan.
Seven goals have been devel-
oped from these including being
given equal opportunities, feel-
ing valued and connected, being
healthy and having a sense of
safety. National and inter-
national reports highlight New
Zealand's poor rating on many
indicators of child welfare, and
its low rates of investment in
children and young people.
Some of our most disadvan-
taged communities are those in
which we anticipate will have
increased numbers of children
and young people in the coming
years,'' Mr Brown says.
We must do something now
to improve their prospects,'' he
The action plan is expected to
be finalised later this year, tak-
ing into account public recom-
Aucklanders have until July 12
to contribute their views. For more
information see putmefirst.co.nz.
AUCKLAND CITY HARBOUR NEWS, JUNE 21, 2013
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will be held at 3pm on Wednesday 3 July
2013 at the Albert-Eden Local Board Office,
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will be held at 6pm on Tuesday 9 July 2013
at the Grey Lynn Community Centre,
510 Richmond Road, Grey Lynn.
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