New Zealand Poems

New Zealand’s poetry is as diverse as its geography, echoing the voices of both the indigenous Māori and the settlers.

Poets like Hone Tuwhare and Katherine Mansfield portray the raw beauty of the land, the struggle of its people, and the mingling of cultures. Their works often imbibe elements of the Kiwi spirit – exploratory, resilient, and intimate with nature.

These poems, whether steeped in tradition or breaking new ground, paint a rich picture of New Zealand’s literary landscape.


by Hone Tuwhare

‘Monologue’ by Hone Tuwhare is a contemporary poem about the difficulties workers face when looking for a job and how temporary those jobs can be. 

This poem was written by famed New Zealand Maori poet Hone Tuwhare. It was inspired by his personal experiences in the country as he tried to find and keep work.

I like working near a door. I like to have my work-bench 

          close by, with a locker handy.

For Heidi With Blue Hair

by Fleur Adcock

‘For Heidi With Blue Hair’ is a six-stanza poem that uses action and dialogue to paint a literary picture where little to no physical setting is provided.

When you dyed your hair blue

(or, at least ultramarine

for the clipped sides, with a crest

of jet-black spikes on top)

you were sent home from school

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