He aha tenei? (What is Paperback Guerrillas Podcast?

Paperback Guerrillas is a self-improvement podcast based in Aotearoa, New Zealand, set up to share mana enhancing kōrero through interviews and book reviews.

Paperback Guerrillas is a podcast sharing mana enhancing kōrero by Māori, for Māori. 

It was co-founded by Pera Barrett (New Zealander of The Year Local Hero 2019), and Te Awanui Reeder (Nesian Mystik / Big River Creative)

We started as a small group of Māori, catching up to talk about books. As well as a love for reading, we shared a lack of Māori friends who read during childhood and a lack of Māori role models promoting reading. Māori perform worse than non-Māori in reading and writing in school, and we believe our lack of social normalisation and role models who read is a factor we can affect positively.

With that in mind, we formed a book club and started recording episodes to share with others to achieve our goal of social normalisation of reading among our people, at scale. The kaupapa was simple: create more kōrero about books, from and for Māori and Pasifika, to normalise literacy. Knowing the benefits of reading, we think this is mana enhancing kōrero.

After our first few episodes, we realised we had access to more stories worth sharing, and so expanded the scope of our recordings to mana enhancing kōrero in general, and created a podcast in the process.

Guests on the podcast so far include:

  • Dr. Ben Walker – Ngati Raukawa on performance-based identity
  • Hori (Otaki artist) on finding the work you love, being Māori in a te reo stronghold like Otaki
  • Damian Hautapu – Tu Tangata captain and ex-gang member) on what he learned through seven jail bids and how joining a men’s group has taken him away from a life of crime.
  • Pera Barrett – starting the Shoebox Christmas project, growing a platform, and finding purpose in your work.
  • Libby Hakaraia and Tainui Stephens – founding the Māoriland Film Festival, racism from an ex-prime minister and more.

Regular guests you can expect to hear from in the pukapuka episodes are Pera Barrett from Shoebox Christmas, Te Awanui Reeder from Nesian Mystik, Sam Poananga, Warena Wainohu, David White and others.