Welcome to the first issue of takahē for 2017. We have a great collection of poetry, fiction, arts, cultural criticism and reviews for your enjoyment.
With mixed feelings I advise that, after ten years, I am relinquishing my involvement with the publication of takahē. I will miss my contact with writers throughout New Zealand and other parts of the world, especially those new writers for whom publication in takahē has been their first – their excitement has given me a real buzz. Thank you to all contributors for being generous (and brave) enough to send us your precious work.

Already my position as co-editor of Fiction has been passed to Christchurch writer Rachel Smith, currently resident in Rarotonga (ah, the wonders of the electronic age), who will carry out her role in conjunction with Jane Seaford, whom I have worked with for the last several years – thanks, Jane. Rach will be able to bring a broader, Pacific perspective to takahē.

At the AGM in May, I shall step down as Chair of the Takahē Collective Board, which is responsible for publishing takahē. These last ten years have seen many developments and exciting changes, continuing the tradition of the previous eighteen years. This gradual evolution will inevitably continue as takahē adapts to new technologies, literary trends and financial imperatives. Developments have included the promotion of the writer/artist, not merely their work; the establishment of a website and more recently a blog; online book reviews; online contents pages of current and past issues, with samples of fiction and poetry from these; and in August 2016 the publication of the first online issue of takahē.

The Takahē Board has weathered, and still battles the vicissitudes of being largely dependent on grants in a time of cutbacks in arts funding, but will, I am certain, prevail, since not only does it have the will and resourcefulness to do so, but takahē serves a unique position in the cadre of New Zealand literary magazines.

The plan for 2017 is to repeat the publication format introduced last year with two print issues (in April and December) and one online issue (in August). This is an interim measure and longer-term plans will be polished during the year and communicated to subscribers and contributors as they are available.

Other changes readers and contributors will encounter in 2017 are among personnel: James Norcliffe has returned as Poetry Editor; Andrew Mark Wood is now Editor of Essays and Art; Rata Ingram is Web Manager; Gail Ingram is Competition Secretary; and a new administrator yet to be appointed at the time of writing.

My huge thanks go to those retiring/recently retired: Joanna Preston, Erin Harrington, Felicity Milburn, Juliana Feaver and Céline Gibson. I have enjoyed working with you all and wish you well in future endeavours.

Karen Zelas