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Yarns in Barns: Fiction – Michael Bennett + Monty Soutar

Ticket Information

  • Adult: $10.25 each ($10.00 + $0.25 fees)
  • Student: $0.00 each ($0.00)
  • Festival Pass (attend as many events as you like - please RSVP to secure your seat): $69.62 each ($65.00 + $4.62 fees)
  • Eventfinda tickets no longer on sale


  • Thu 20 Oct 2022, 7:30pm–8:30pm


All Ages

Listed by

Hedley's Books

Join us among the bookshelves at Hedley’s for the ultimate book club night. Deep dive into Michael Bennett’s modern day crime story founded in Te ao Māori. Better the Blood tells the story of tenacious Māori police detective, Hana Westerman who is pulled into the search for Auckland’s first serial killer.

Then eminent historian, Dr Monty Soutar’s exploration of the Māori experience of colonisation in Kāwai: For Such a Time as This. A vivid exploration of war and peace in the old world presented as a page turning fictional account.

Moderated by Ron Mark – New Zealand politician and former soldier.

About Michael Bennett

Michael Bennett (Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Whakaue) is an award-winning screenwriter, director and author. His short films and feature films have won awards internationally, including Best Director and Best Film at the 2019 NZ TV Awards, and have screened at Cannes, Toronto, Berlin, Locarno, New York, London, and Melbourne film festivals. He also wrote the book In Dark Places (2016), which won the Ngaio Marsh Award for crime writing. Michael teaches screenwriting at numerous tertiary institutions, and mentors emerging Māori and Pasifika filmmakers.

About Monty Soutar

Dr. Monty Soutar (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Awa, Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki, Ngāti Kahungunu) has worked as a Senior Historian for the Ministry of Culture and Heritage, Director of the Tairawhiti Museum in Gisborne and as the World War One Historian in Residence at Auckland War Memorial Museum. In 2015 he was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori and historical research. He continues to serve on the Waitangi Tribunal.

Dr. Soutar is the author of Whitiki Whiti Whiti E! Māori in the First World War and Nga Tama Toa – The Price of Citizenship: C Company 28 (Māori) Battalion 1939-1945. In 2021 he was awarded the Creative New Zealand Michael King Writer's Fellowship to write the Kāwai series.

This event is part of Yarns in Barns: Wairarapa Festival of Reading which takes place between 14–23rd October, 2022. This organic, community-led festival hosts an eclectic range of events for all ages in venues from Masterton to Martinborough. View the full festival programme at

Presented by Hedley's Books, Fraser Books, Masterton District Library and the Wairarapa Library Service.

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