Kapiti Coast based writer Tina Makereti says winning the first ever fiction award in the Nga Kupa Ora third Maori Book Awards, is amazing.
Once Upon a Time in Aotearoa, which is a book of traditional Maori myths and legends put into a contemporary context, received the award at a function on Tuesday night at Massey University in Palmerston North.
Tina Makereti, 37, says it was a challenge making sure the original essence of each story, wasn't lost through modernising it.
She says she had no pre-conceived idea as to who would enjoy reading the book, but thought it would appeal more to adults.
But Ms Makereti says the publishers have also aimed it at teenagers.
She says the next challenge is finishing her first novel, which she's been working on for two years.