He was born in Masterton and was educated at Wainuioru School and St Stephen’s School. He studied at Auckland University where he was president of the Auckland University Māori Club from 1975-76. He graduated with a B.A. in Social Anthropology and Māori Studies and with an M.A. in Social Anthropology in 1976. He studied at Auckland Training College for one year, graduating with a Diploma of Teaching. He taught at Blockhouse Bay Intermediate and at Bailey Rd School as a relieving Deputy Principal. He tutored at Auckland University in Māori Studies and Anthropology while he was a student there. He then lectured in Education at Secondary Teachers’ College from 1984-87. In 1988 he was appointed to the Education Department at Auckland University. He and his wife applied jointly and initially they job-shared the position. They have since been appointed to two senior lectureship positions and he has completed a PhD.
“Graham Smith was one of the founding whanau of the Kura Kaupapa Māori and Waipareira. He was the editor of Nga Kete Wananga: Readers in Māori Education volumes I, II, V, and VI published in 1986 by the Auckland College of Education. He has delivered many papers at conferences in New Zealand and in November 1988 with L. Smith and T. Nepe he delivered the Keynote Address ‘Māori Language Revitalisation Initiatives in New Zealand’ to the Aboriginal Languages Conference in Vancouver, Canada.” In 1998 he was appointed pro-vice-chancellor (Māori) at Auckland University.
- Interview with Smith in August 1992.
PPTA Journal Term 3 (1988): 17-18.