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Parliament launch for Opotiki novel

12 March 2015


A novel being launched at Parliament this month highlights the important role art can play in nurturing children facing social and economic difficulties.

Oku Moe Moea – The dream which is bigger than I am was written by Shona Hammond Boys and is based on her experience as the founder and director of the New Zealand Children’s Art Houses Foundation.

The novel and an accompanying short film was to be launched by East Coast MP Anne Tolley as New Zealand’s contribution to the World Children’s Festival hosted by International Child Art Foundation in Washington D.C. mid-year.

The story focuses on Victory, a boy who would seem to have it all.  He is growing up in a beautiful location on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island, surrounded by generations of his people.

Victory must, however, deal with personal, family and community anguish as society changes.  In doing so, he finds his way to a future through art.

Shona Hammond Boys says Victory’s story was inspired by the transformation she has seen in young people through the growing presence of art in their lives.

“It is true that economic circumstances mean many children face terrible difficulties but their participation in art programmes has opened doors for them to achieve personal success.”

Shona, who was born in Pureora Forest and now lives in Opotiki, has travelled the world promoting the power of art for children.  Last year, she used a pledging fund to raise money for the development of the short film of the story.

Her book is being published by independent publisher, BMS Books Ltd, and is pleased by the reception the story is receiving from teachers and commentators.


For more information, please contact:

BMS Books Ltd



Tel: (07) 349-4107; Int: 64-7-349-4107

Mob: 0272096861

Skype: southemer

5 High Street, Rotorua, New Zealand 3010

Breathe...New...Life into your writing


For more information on this book, go to: and


For more information about Oku Moe Moea, the short film, go to:

For more information on the World Children’s Festival, go to:


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