I also recall Robert Holding, owner of The Polynesian Bookshop in Ponsonby Road, selling me The Bone People on the day of its 1984 NZ publication. He said "this is the most important piece of fiction published in NZ in many years Graham and you have to have a copy". That was pretty much before anybody had even heard of the book. He proved to be right on the money. And that was a full year before it won The Booker as the rank outsider.
The Spiral Collective as I recall comprised three remarkable women, Elizabeth Ramsden, Marian Evans, and Miriama Evans
Elizabeth Ramsden later adopted the Maori version of Elizabeth, Irihapeti.
A year or so after The Bone People was published Irihapeti, myself and Gisborne librarian Pene Walsh were the judges of the Wattie Book Awards. Sadly Irihapeti died in 2003.