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Multicultural Heritage

New Zealand is remote and mountainous and beautiful. Situated in the southern Pacific, the islands were settled by its first people, the Māori, over 800 years ago. Dunedin is the ancestral home of the Kāi Tahu people whose stories add rich threads to the fabric of life in this vibrant southern city. Their legends and stories have been woven over centuries by the oral histories and traditions passed down by the ancestors. Today, Kāi Tahu continue to have a strong and proud presence in Dunedin.

In 1848, a new wave of Scottish migration brought the literature of Burns and the Bible to Dunedin. A statue of Robert Burns occupies a prominent place in the Octagon at the city’s centre. Significant writers of the past and present are honoured in a Writers’ Walk, also in the Octagon.

Today, many published and talented writers, poets, illustrators, lyricists, book designers and playwrights draw their inspiration from European traditions and work alongside other writers from Maori, Pacific and Asian backgrounds.


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