Turncoat, by Tīhema Baker
‘I see you’re coming to terms with what it means for a Human to serve the Hierarch.’
‘Well, I know that a lot of Hierarch edicts completely contradict Human values. I was prepared for that when I began here—’
Daniel is a young, idealistic Human determined to make a difference for his people. He lives in a distant future in which Earth has been colonised by aliens. His mission: infiltrate the Alien government called the Hierarch and push for it to honour the infamous Covenant of Wellington, the founding agreement between the Hierarch and Humans.
With compassion and insight, Turncoat explores the trauma of Māori public servants and the deeply conflicted role they are expected to fill within the machinery of government. From casual racism to co-governance, Treaty settlements to tino rangatiratanga, Turncoat is a timely critique of the Aotearoa zeitgeist, holding a mirror up to Pākehā New Zealanders and asking: “What if it happened to you?”
About Tīhema Baker
Tīhema Baker (Raukawa te Au ki te Tonga, Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai, and Ngāti Toa Rangatira) is a writer and Tiriti o Waitangi-based policy advisor from Ōtaki. He has a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University of Wellington, for which he wrote this novel.
Reviews and interviews
Released: 15 June 2023