Moral education is a complex and contested area of curriculum in New Zealand schools. This thesis examines the moral education debate from 1970 to 1985 and argues that much was achieved before the 'reforms' of the late 1980s diverted energy and time to other matters. The first part of the thesis introduces the debate by outlining theoretical considerations, historical influences, and social, economic and political contexts. The main thrust of the thesis explores different aspects of the debate through the reports, courses and conferences of the 1970s. The final section of the thesis examines the significance of developments in health education between 1980 and 1985 to the moral education debate.