Robin M. Kora

Muaūpoko, Ngāti Rangitihi

1949 -



Robin Kora was born in Levin and educated at Levin Primary School and Te Aute College where he was head prefect. He was an American Field Scholar in 1967. He continued his studies at Auckland University for one year before attending Auckland Training College where he was Student President in 1972. After graduating from training college he taught at Kowhai Intermediate and spent a year at Seddon High School working in an opportunity class with at-risk children. He worked as an itinerant Māori language teacher in the Auckland region, returned to further teaching at Kowhai Intermediate, and taught part-time while working as a part-time presenter of the television programme Koha. He subsequently worked full-time for Koha as a reporter and presenter, and later was employed as a newsreader for Eyewitness and for the Midday News. He has worked as a reporter, director, script-writer and researcher for Marae. He was involved in the pilot comedy series for Marae about a country radio station and began writing poetry when he was a third former at Te Aute. After Training College he wrote nineteen sonnets in response to the fatal accident of a friend and has participated in the Monday evening poetry reading sessions at the Shakespeare and Empire pubs with some of his poems being published in various editions of Auckland Live in 1992. Kora wrote two short stories for Play School TVNZ Dunedin in 1980. An anthology of poetry and an almost completed novel by Kora were destroyed in a house fire in 1997. Annotations written by Kora appear in quotation.

Biographical sources

  • Interview with Kora at TVNZ Auckland on 29 Aug. 1992.
  • Correspondence with Kora on 5 Sept. 1992, 10, 23 and 31 July 1998, and 22 July 2004.

    Fiction

  • "Mokopuna." Manuka: Occasional Magazine of the Auckland College of Education 1972: 43. Rpt. in Koru: The New Zealand Māori Artists and Writers’ Annual Magazine 1 (1976). n.pag.
  • A portrait of an old woman torn between the memories of her deceased husband and the world of her mokopuna.
  • Non-fiction

  • "Student President’s Report." Manuka: Occasional Magazine of the Auckland College of Education 1972: 11-13.
  • Kora provides a report of his year as Student President of Auckland Teachers’ College in 1972.
  • "Contraceptive Vending Machine on Campus." Manuka: Occasional Magazine on Training College Campus 1972. 20.
  • As Auckland Teachers’ College Student President, Kora writes a letter disputing the five points proffered by the Training College’s Executive Committee opposing the installation of a contraceptive vending machine at the Training College.
  • Other

  • "When Some of the Manure Sticks." Herald Dec. 1992. No details.
  • "Rhythm of Language." Herald 3 Jan. 1993. No further details.
  • "Faith Needed in Our Language." Herald 17 Jan. 1993. No further details.
  • "The Last Word." Herald 14 Feb. 1993. No further details.
  • Poetry

  • "Sunset and a Cloud." Quad Spring 71. Ed. David Wansbrough. 1971: 12.
  • A poem about the seductive exuberance of a sunset beguiling the speaker.
  • "Haiku." Manuka: Occasional Magazine of the Auckland College of Education 1972: 43.
  • Kora writes: ‘A poem about a spiral sea shell.’
  • "I Didn’t Want You." [First line] Manuka: Occasional Magazine of the Auckland College of Education 1972. 18.
  • A poem about the right timing in a love relationship when both parties consensually long for deeper involvement.
  • "From Memory Caressed. VII: To Think of You as You Were." Manuka: Occasional Magazine of the Auckland College of Education 1973. n.pag. Rpt. in Koru: The New Zealand Māori Artists and Writers’ Annual Magazine 1 (1976). n.pag.
  • A poem mourning the loss of a loved one.
  • "From Memory Caressed. VIII: As in an Always Manner." Manuka: Occasional Magazine of the Auckland College of Education 1973. n.pag. Rpt. in Koru: The New Zealand Māori Artists and Writers Annual Magazine 1 (1976). n.pag.
  • The speaker grieves the loss of Donna-Marie and wishes they had ‘died together.’
  • "I Will Not Be Lost." Pacific Moana Quarterly 3.4 (1978): 437.
  • An assertion of stepping forward into action and no longer holding back.
  • "Our Kuia." Koru: The New Zealand Māori Artists and Writers’ Annual Magazine. Ed. Haare Williams. 2 (1978): 10.
  • A tribute to the dignity of Māori kuia.
  • "The Kaupapa is Art." Koru: The New Zealand Māori Artists and Writers’ Annual Magazine. Ed. Haare Williams. 2 (1978): 10.
  • ‘The poet takes issue with unnamed critics who didn’t want a Pakeha artist to speak at a Māori Artists and Writers’ Hui.’
  • "From Memory Caressed. XVI, Touching the Glass." Outrigger 3.1 (1979): 19.
  • The poet writes of the return of memories and a friend involved in them.
  • "From Memory Caressed. XVII, The Irony." Outrigger 3.1 (1979). 20.
  • The speaker mourns the departure of Donna-Marie and regrets that his pride muzzled the sentiments of love he longed to express.
  • "From Memory Caressed. XVIII, Thank God that Memories Live On." Outrigger 3.1 (1979). 21.
  • The poet struggles with the perplexities of life and death, and the mysteries of God’s ways.
  • "Two Snails." Pacific Moana Quarterly: An International Reviews of Arts and Ideas 5.2 (1980): 118.
  • After meeting an old woman with a tear-stained face at his poetry reading, the poet recalls the image of two snails followed by their ‘glistening silver threads’ meeting in the midst of a concrete drive and ‘becoming one’.
  • "Your Sure Ways." Te Kaea: The Māori Magazine 5 (1981): 26.
  • As the speaker gazes at the waters of Waikaremoana he is reminded of the diverse facets and sure ways of the unnamed subject of the poem.
  • "Visit the Sins." Auckland Live 1 (1992): 12-13.
  • The speaker reflects on the processes that lead people to destroy themselves and their loved ones, and recalls a time in his own life when he came close to it.
  • "What’s in a Name, Pakeha." Auckland Live 1 (1992): 24.
  • In this poem the speaker responds to those who feel insulted when they are called Pakeha.
  • Reviews

  • Rev. of Mahanga, by Vernice Wineera Pere. Pacific Moana Quarterly 6.2 (1981): 237.

    Other

  • Austin, Jenni. "Through the Mill, but Now He’s Smiling." New Zealand Woman’s Weekly 18 Jul. 1988: 32-33.
  • Amoamo, Jacqueline. "Under Fire." NZ Listener 9 Apr. 1988: 31.
  • "Field Scholar." Te Ao Hou 63 (1968): 60.
  • A brief report on Kora’s visit to Oklahoma as an American Field Service Scholar.
  • "People and Places." Te Ao Hou 59 (1967): 36-37.
  • A brief announcement of Kora’s appointment to be an American Field Scholar.
  • Te Whata, Norman. "Robin Kora - Front Line Newsreader." Te Iwi o Aotearoa 1 (1987): 10.