Local Lyttelton hero Ben Brown (Ngāti Mahuta, Ngāti Koroki, Ngāti Paoa) is the inaugural Te Awhi Rito Reading Ambassador, travelling the nation to nurture young readers. In this Margaret Mahy Memorial Lecture, Ben draws on the metaphor of kā awhi rito, the mature leaves around the young shoot of a harakeke plant, and his life as a poet and educator, to talk about building children’s imagination and confidence through storytelling in all its forms. If you caught Ben’s widely-acclaimed 2020 Read NZ lecture, on youth justice and the power of words, you know to expect an address that is direct, funny and devastating by turns.
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