Alister Taylor

Rupert Alister Halls Taylor (21 September 1943 – 9 September 2019) was an innovative and controversial New Zealand publisher.

Alister Taylor
Rupert Alister Halls Taylor

(1943-09-21)21 September 1943
Died9 September 2019(2019-09-09) (aged 75)
NationalityNew Zealand
PartnerDeborah Coddington (1978–2004)

He published The Little Red Schoolbook in the 1970s (widely criticised by morals campaigners for its subversive content),[1] Tim Shadbolt's autobiographical Bullshit and Jellybeans, and significant works on artists C. F. Goldie and Gustavus von Tempsky.

Tussles with the publishing industryEdit

Untrusted in the New Zealand publishing industry for slow payment of debts, he was bankrupted in the early 1980s at the instigation of the Publishers' Association. Discharged ten years later, he began a new publishing venture, reissuing some of his earlier publications in edited and updated form. He established New Zealand Who's Who Aotearoa, with the first volume published in 1992, in competition to the standard biographical work Who's Who in New Zealand (last published in 1991).[2] In 2001 he was accused by the London Daily Mirror Sorted column by Penman & Greenwood, in a report headlined "Full medal racket", of targeting national heroes in a publishing con.

In 2005 he was again in financial difficulty when the New South Wales Department of Fair Trading was granted an injunction banning him from marketing a range of non-existent publications about prominent Australians. The Supreme Court found that he had solicited fees from Australians to be included in a publication entitled the Australian Roll of Honour series, which did not exist.[3]

Personal lifeEdit

His partner from 1978 to 2004 was the journalist and politician Deborah Coddington, with whom he had three children.[2] Taylor was a "loved brother, uncle, father and grandfather".[4] Upon his death his daughter Imogen described him to journalists Kendall Hutt and Mandy Te as a "sensitive, artistic, kind of guy".[5]


  • The Little Red Schoolbook
  • Down Under The Plum Trees, explicit sex instruction manual, 1972.[6]
  • Tim Shadbolt, autobiography, 'Bullshit and Jellybeans'.
  • Sue Kedgley, Sexist Society, 1973.
  • Sam Hunt, From Bottle Creek.[7]


  1. ^ Office of Film and Literature Classification
  2. ^ a b Bingham, Eugene (21 November 2003). "Standing by her man". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  3. ^ "NSW Govt bans NZ publisher for peddling fake publications". 28 February 2005. Archived from the original on 11 March 2007. Retrieved 28 September 2006.
  4. ^ Death Notice cited in
  5. ^ "Prominent New Zealand publisher Alister Taylor dies aged 75". 16 September 2019.
  6. ^ "Down under the plum trees".
  7. ^ See 'Culture Clash' inset at