Author(s): Julie Helean
As the 150-year anniversary of the Treaty of Waitangi draws near, Charlie - disgruntled with her Pakeha anti-racism group's endless meetings, leadership squabbles and debates over rhetoric - joins her Maori flatmate Kat on a reckless mission to sabotage the 1990 celebrations and the Queen's visit. With growing disregard to consequences, the pair commits to do whatever it takes to have the Treaty honoured and the Maori flag flying at Waitangi. This lively, humorous tale follows a young woman activist on her journey through several politically charged landscapes of the 1980s - the LGBTI movement, feminism, Maori rights activism - on her haphazard search for identity, a place to stand and for love.
Julie Helean completed her Masters in Creative Writing in 2008 at the University of Auckland under tutors Prof Witi Ihimaera, Emily Perkins and Mike Johnson. Her first novel The Open Accounts of an Honesty Box was published in 2011 and has been produced and played on radio. In 2012 Julie won the Katherine Mansfield Award in the BNZ Literary Awards. She has previously published in Landfall magazine and in the journal Brief. Julie trained as a community psychologist and now works as a planner in Auckland. Much of Julie's writing is focused on women in non-traditional roles and draws heavily on her experiences working as a truck driver, a builder's labourer and a social justice activist.