Renee Taylor - the Kiwi writer who proves it's never too late to pick up a pen

Renee Taylor, 89, has been recognised again for her contribution to New Zealand literature.

The Ngati Kahungungu kuia received the Prime Minister's Literary Award for Fiction last month in front of her friends and family.

Taylor's had an illustrious career as a playwright and novelist who's always pushed women to the front in both genres.

"I really wanted woman to be centre stage. I wrote plays first and I made no secret of the fact that I was there. To write great roles for women and they weren't going to be there because they were someone's cousin or sister or mother they were going to be there out front because they were the hero."

Renee didn't start her writing career until she turned 50, but it wasn't long before she started making a name for herself. In the 1980s, the lesbian feminist wrote about domestic violence, contraception, pregnancy, lesbian issues and many more subjects that weren't openly spoken about in those days.

A few years ago, the award-winning writer started to put her memoirs together, and before even putting anything on paper Makarow Press asked to publish it. Publisher Mary McCallum says Taylor is a truly gifted writer whose made a major impact on literature in Aotearoa.

"It's so powerful, her writing and just who she is. I don't know where we'd be in literature in this country without her. I think she's been that important."

At 89 years old, Renee is still writing and teaching the next crop of writers.

The Hui