Dick Grace was born in Tuparoa on the East Coast and was educated at Tuparoa Primary School and Gisborne High School. He continued his studies at Wellington Training College and obtained a Teachers’ Training Certificate. In 1977 he graduated from Victoria University with a B.A. in Education. Grace has had twenty-six year’s teaching experience with principalships of six schools including two large urban primary schools and one large intermediate. In 1988 he was seconded to the State Services Commission to lead a working party which planned the development of biculturalism in government departments. He was District Manager of the Wellington Region for the Ministry of Education from 1989-1991 and was Manager of Māori Policy and Planning at the National Library of New Zealand from 1991-1995. In 1991 he spent six months travelling through New Zealand talking to Māori communities about the development of bilingual and total immersion Māori education. Since his retirement in 1995 Grace was involved in writing and focused on aspects of Māori strategic planning. He wrote non-fiction articles and reports. When he observed the real shortage of Māori material for Māori children in te reo Māori he decided he would try to produce resource kits for kura kaupapa and te kohanga reo. He subsequently published a number of Māori language texts for children. Grace maintained a keen interest in Māori Education through his advisory role as Pukenga of the N.Z. Council for Educational Research. At the same time he broadened his field of interest to include health and social issues: he was a member of the RHA’s Wellington Ethics Committee, and worked on a strategic plan for Te Runanga o Ngāti Toa.
- Interview and correspondence with Dick Grace, August and 1 Sept. 1998, and 24 May 2004.
- He Rakau Rangātira. Palmerston North, N.Z.: Te Papa-i-oea/ New Zealand Heritage Foundation, 1990.
- Resource kit for kura kaupapa and te kohanga reo.
- He Manu Rangātira. Ko nga whakaahua nā Te Maari Gardiner. Palmerston North, N.Z.: Te Papa o Oea/ New Zealand Heritage Foundation, 1990. Rpt. in Te Ao Mārama: Contemporary Māori Writing for Children. Volume IV: Te Ara o Te Hau: The Path of the Wind. Comp. and ed. Witi Ihimaera. Contributing editors: Haare Williams, Irihapeti Ramsden and D. S. Long. Auckland, N.Z.: Reed, 1994. 32.
- Māori language picture book for children.
- Ko Te Raumati. Wellington, N.Z.: Learning Media, He Kohikoinga 17 , 1996.
- Hari koa ana taku ngakau. Wellington, N.Z.: Huia, 1997.
- Kei Hea Taku Potae. Wellington, N.Z.: Huia, 1998.
- "Te Kai a te Rangatira." Kerehi Waiariki. Huia Short Stories 3. Wellington, N.Z.: Huia, 1999. 209-219.
- Te Kohanga Reo and Primary Schools. Draft Guidelines for Teachers. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Education, 1985.
- Grace states that this publication "gave the Department of Education’s perspective on the development of Kohanga Reo and gave advice to parents, teachers and the community in general. It is a set of guidelines that was sent out to all primary schools."
- "Titahi Bay Intermediate: Reorganising Ourselves in the School Setting." He Tumanako Mo te Ao Hou Schools Without Failure Kit, Dip. Ed. No further details. Rpt. in Nga Kete Waananga...Readers in Māori Education: "Akonga Māori: Māori Pedagogy and Learning. Comp. Graham H. Smith. Auckland, N.Z.: Māori Studies Department, Auckland College of Education, 1986.
- In this paper Grace writes of the shift made at Titahi Bay Intermediate School from the traditional model of staff organisation with its hierarchical pyramid and defined areas of responsibility and ranking determined by the salary scale. He lists seven detrimental effects of the traditional model and describes the positive outcomes of a marae-based pattern of organisation that was adopted at Titahi Bay Intermediate to replace the earlier model.
- Māori Language Assistants: A Guide For Schools. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Education, 1986.
- This was a "policy paper for the recruitment of fluent speakers from Māori communities with an interest in working alongside primary teachers of junior classes who were receiving graduates from kohanga reo."
- "Māori Rising Again." Vox: The Journal of the Australian Advisory Council on Languages and Multicultural Education 2 (1989): 27-30.
- Paper presented on Māori Education for the international symposium "The Minority Language - Official Status and Reality in Education" at the American Educational Research Association Conference in Washington, USA 20-24 April 1987. Grace states that this paper focused on "the development of Māori education in the Māori language." He adds that "for the first twelve years after the Treaty was signed, the only schools in the country were the missionary schools which taught in Māori. We are now going back to what it was like 150 years ago with Māori asking for their children to be taught in Māori."
- "In the Spirit of Aroha and Fairness." Te Puna Matauranga: The National Library of N.Z. Newsletter 3.4 (1991): 4-5.
- Grace writes: "This is an article which outlines the future directions of the National Library in terms of its responses to Māori aspirations and needs as perceived by Grace, the Library’s newly appointed Māori Policy and Planning Manager."
- Promoting Māori Language and Culture within Current Structures and Funding: A report prepared for the Ministry of Education. Wellington, N.Z., 1991.
- Grace states that this publication "looked at Māori education in the past and the present with suggested directions for future developments in Māori education."
- Earth, Sea, Sky: Images and Māori Proverbs from the Natural World of Aotearoa New Zealand. Wellington, N.Z.: Huia and Craig Potton, 2003.
- Co-authors Patricia and Waiariki Grace. Photographs by Craig Potton.
- Ngāti Toa Strategic Plan. 1995.
- Matauranga Māori: E Ahu ana Tatou ki Hea?
- A paper presented at the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education. Wollongong, New South Wales, Austral. Dec. 11-18, 1993. Grace writes: “This paper gives a brief description of the history of formal schooling in New Zealand and the impact of colonial attitudes and philosophies on the educational achievement of Måori over the past one hundred and fifty years.”
- Partnership, Power and Politics.
- A paper presented at the Conference of the National Libraries of Australia and New Zealand. Wellington, N.Z. 1994.