By Road: Reflections on Niue’s coral highway, August 2015

Gregory O'Brien, Robin Kearns


A letter to Robin Kearns - Gregory O’Brien

Listening to the Samoan-born writer Albert Wendt at a recent literary festival in Wanaka, my thoughts drifted northwards in the direction of the Pacific. When asked—in keeping with Maori protocol—to name his ancestral mountain, Albert insisted on citing three: a hill behind Apia, then a sacred burial mound on the Samoan coast, and finally Mt Taranaki, beneath which he had spent some formative years at New Plymouth Boys’ High. This set me thinking about our visit, last year, to the Niuean village of Liku. Our painter-friend John Pule had recently built a house there, leaving Auckland to settle on the plot of family land where he had been born in 1962.

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