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Reflections on the work of the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO

Available 25 June

This book is about the goals and work of UNESCO and of the New Zealand Commission. This account is not a history but rather an overview of UNESCO generally and of the Commission’s work.  It includes the reflections of people who have contributed to the Commission’s work. Reflections lets their voices speak of the achievements, specific initiatives, and challenges when working for UNESCO’s vision in New Zealand and globally.   

Part 1 describes the beginnings, growth, and work of UNESCO and of the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO and provides a background for the voices that are the focus of this book, as well describing the Commission’s many achievements. The second and main part of the book focuses on the reflections of New Zealanders who worked with and for the Commission. Part 3 considers UNESCO’s future and the importance of exemplary Commissions such as New Zealand’s


Edna Tait served two terms (1989–94 and 2006–13) on the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO. She was also a Director, Head of Office, and Education Advisor for the UNESCO Office for Pacific Member States (1995–2005). Her Doctoral thesis was a study of the purpose, practices, and power of UNESCO. Prior to working for UNESCO, Edna was Principal of Tikipunga High School (1983–95) and she was the first 2-year President of the New Zealand Post Primary Teachers’ Association (1981–82).