30 Jul 2013

Oral history about moa picked for book awards

6:42 am on 30 July 2013

The author of a book about the moa, an extinct giant bird, says he pulled together Maori oral history to describe the iwi relationship to the animal.

Quinn Berentson's Moa: the life and death of New Zealand's legendary bird, is a finalist in the New Zealand Post Book Awards for 2013.

Mr Berentson said within Maori oral tradition, the Moa is often considered a mythical creature rather than a real animal.

But he in areas where the Moa survived longer, the oral history describes how Moa were hunted and stalked by Maori.

Mr Berentson says it's possible moa may have survived in remote parts of Fiordland and been seen by early European settlers.

The winners of the New Zealand Post Book Awards are announced on 28 August.