Erin Powell with her children Darwin and Ava, and her new book Weka Haka. Photo: Sara Hollyman.

Weka fear inspires children’s book


Erin Powell’s children’s fear of weka creeping through their Wakapuaka property inspired the Nelson mother to write her first book.

Erin is officially launching her self-published book ‘Weka Haka’ at the Elma Turner Library on Sunday.

The children’s book begins with young Maia’s hesitation of going out into the garden for fear the weka will peck her. However, she eventually finds her inner strength and rustles up the courage to scare the wily weka away.

Erin says her son Darwin was the inspiration for the book.

“We used to go around in the garden and he was absolutely terrified every time he saw the weka.

“I was thinking ‘what’s a really good way of managing anxiety’ and I thought ‘I’ll look for a book about weka, there’s bound to be something about kids conquering their fear of weka’.”

Erin couldn’t find one anywhere.

She found one book about weka but it involved the boy next door saving the day.

“It’s a great book but I was wanting to inspire bravery and resilience and a ‘kids can solve the problems themselves’ kind of philosophy.”

A three-week children’s writing course through Volume bookstore gave Erin the motivation and skills to get her thoughts on paper.

She says there was a huge thought process behind the characters and storyline, which was constantly developing.

Te reo Maori weaves its way throughout the book which is why the book will launch during Te Wiki o te Reo Maori.

Erin gives a lot of credit to her Nelson illustrator Polly Rabbits.

“She was so great at putting what was in my mind onto paper”.

The ‘Weka Haka’ launches at 11am on Sunday at Elma Turner Library. It will also double as a fundraiser for Atawhai Playcentre with 50 percent of sales from the launch being donated to them.