The Last of Maui’s Dolphins

Hiriwa has lost his three friends.
Have they been caught by the dark shapes?
Can he save them in time?
Come on an underwater adventure with Hiriwa a young Maui’s dolphin and his three friends: Spotty the snapper, Squiggles the octopus and Puru the Blue penguin.
On the last page find out why Maui’s dolphins are so endangered, who their close relative is in the South Island, and what you can do to help them.

Illustrator Bruce Potter has illustrated over 100 children’s books including Witi Ihimaera’s picture book story ‘The Whale Rider‘. Bruce also collaborated with Maria Gill on two other books: New Zealand Hall of Fame: 50 Remarkable Kiwis and Operation Nest Egg Chick.

Watch the trailer

Journal notes

When I heard there were only 55 Maui’s dolphins left I had to do something about it. A story began whirring around in my head while I was away touring. The first stanza insisted on being written down that night and has barely changed since then. Once I had written a few drafts I sent it off to Fleur Beale for an assessment. She was spot-on with her advice. I changed the point of view from first person to third person and then it was ready. Christine Thomson from New Holland loved it. When she asked who I would recommend to illustrate the book I was adamant I wanted Bruce Potter.

His underwater scenes in ‘The Whale Rider’ were gorgeous – he just knew how to capture light underwater. In the meantime, while I was in Christchurch I went on a boat cruise around Akaroa Harbour just so I could see Maui’s cousins – Hector’s dolphins. Sure enough three Hectors followed our boat surfing the waves. I could see their distinctive Mickey Mouse fin, as they playfully swam after us. Now I can hold my first picture book in my hands and I hope it inspires people to care for our very endangered Maui dolphin – as well as being entertained by the story.

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