Kura Marie Taylor (Teira)

Te Āti Awa

1932 -

Kura was born in Waipapa, north of Waitara, and was educated at Waitara Central School and New Plymouth Girls’ High School. She attended Christchurch Teachers’ College and is a trained primary teacher with a teachers class c certificate. Taylor taught in Māori schools for two years. She took on senior positions of responsibility in Auckland Education Board schools for the next 38 years in Waikato and many areas of Auckland. Kura pursued further study and graduated with a Dip. Tchg., B.Ed from Massey University. After her retirement from teaching in 1989, she studied toward an M.Phil in Education from the University of Auckland, graduating in 1994. In the early 1980s, she went to Switzerland as the invited NZEI nominee to the World Confederation of the Organisations of the Teaching Profession (WCOTP) Consultation on Peace and Human Rights and was elected Chairperson. She was also invited to be part of the NZEI delegation at the WCOTP Conference at Regina in Canada. In May 1983 she became the first Māori woman teacher to be awarded Fellow of the New Zealand Educational Institute. She is a life member of the Royal Auckland Branch NZEI. Kura has been a member of the Māori Women’s Welfare League (MWWL) since 1971. From 1975 she held office as as Auckland Area Representative to the Dominion Executive MWWL, followed by President Auckland Regional Council MWWL, and then President of Arahina Branch MWWL until 1998. Kura was a member of the Women’s Advisory Committee on Education which advised the Minister of Education for two years, and was a full member of the Teacher Registration Board for seven years. She is completing a PhD through Victoria University using autobiographical methodology. Kura lectured in Māori Studies at the Auckland College of Education for one year in 1994 and was administrator for the College’s Kaiarahi-I-Te-Reo Diploma in Teaching programme for three years. She mentors women in Bachelor and Master studies. Kura is a trustee and chairperson of a family land trust for which she writes position papers, reports and submissions. She writes bilingual letters to her grandsons as family interest books.

Biographical sources

  • Correspondence from Kura Marie Taylor on 8 Oct. 2004.
  • Phone conversation with Kura Marie Taylor on 5 Mar. and 24 Aug. 1998.
  • “Institute Honours Māori Woman.” Tu Tangata 14 (Oct./Nov. 1983): 21.


  • "Māori Woman Teacher Represents NZ at Switzerland Conference." Tu Tangata 4 (Feb./Mar. 1982): 29-30.
  • Kura provides a detailed account of her attendance as the New Zealand Educational Institute’s International Consultation nominee at an International Consultation conference in Switzerland in 1981, and discusses her contribution to the consultation.
  • "Institute Honours Māori Woman." Tu Tangata 14 (Oct./Nov. 1983): 21.
  • A report on Kura becoming the first Māori woman teacher to become a Fellow of the New Zealand Educational Institute.
  • "Conversations With Māori Women Educators Born 1908 To 1931." M.Phil thesis. U of Auckland, N.Z., 1994.