Tributes paid to early Maori film-maker the late Ramai Hayward…

Tribute: Ramai Hayward wrote the script for Song of the Wanganui, a journey up the Whanganui River. Photo/Supplied
Ramai Hayward wrote the script for Song of the Wanganui, a journey up the Whanganui River. Photo/Supplied

Actor, film-maker and campaigner Patricia Rongomaitara “Ramai” Hayward – who had ties to the Whanganui River – died this month and tributes have flowed from the Maori Party and from film and television circles.

Hayward was 98 years old and had outlived her film-maker husband Rudall Hayward. Together they were Hayward Films and made documentaries and features in four countries, including communist China in the 1950s.

But before that Ramai Te Miha (she was also known as Patricia Miller) was New Zealand’s first professional Maori photographer, with a studio and employees in Auckland.

She was born in Martinborough in 1916, and spent much of her early life with her Maori grandmother in the Wairarapa. She met Rudall Hayward when she acted the part of the beautiful Ariana in his 1940 film Rewi’s Last Stand.

They married and she learned to use camera and sound equipment – the only woman in England or New Zealand who could do so at the time.

The two made many films.

In 1955 Hayward wrote the script for Song of the Wanganui, a journey up the Whanganui River showing scenes from its past. The Putiki Maori Choir sang in it.

A more famous film was To Love a Maori, New Zealand’s first colour feature film in 1972. Perhaps her best-known screen role would be the part of Billy T James’ bossy mother in his 1990 sitcom series.

But Hayward was also a painter and author, and she was faithful to her Maori background. She is said to have turned down a knighthood in protest over land rights, and joined in a protest over a Wairarapa land sale. In later life she became a member of the Maori Women’s Welfare League.

She did accept becoming a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) in 2006, for services to film.

On Monday the Maori Party paid tribute to the pioneering film maker. Co-leader Tariana Turia said she showed the courage and tenacity of Maori to stand up and be counted.

“Hayward Films presented Maori issues in a positive frame in a time when few other film makers were so inclined. It would be fascinating to see the collaboration that Ramai and Rudall brought to a documentary called The World is Turning Towards the Coloured People, which I believe never made it to the box office.”

– WANGANUI CHRONICLE

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/wanganui-chronicle/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503426&objectid=11295916

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Content Catnip

Quirky internet wunderkammer

The Claire Violet Thorpe Express

Home of everything relating to writing (and funny pictures of toys)

Just Stimming...

A land we can share (a place I can map)

Turbokitty's Blog

News/Politics/Events

Imperator Fish

A blog about the media, the law, politics, and big fish

[Insiders]

Stuff worth sharing

Sparrowhawk/Kārearea

Looking for choice morsels of currents affairs, culture, and politics to chew on. Or spit out hastily. It depends.

Nonoy Manga

Manga, Hand Drawn, Animation, Drawing Lessons.

Oyia Brown

A WordPress site to share a smile; then an anthology showing how things really are.

Friendly Fairy Tales

Celebrating Nature and Magic for Kids of all Ages

BoubacarsowNews

Retrouvez toutes les informations du monde en temps réel

BIGSARGE.NET

CHECKPOINT CHARLIE

Don Charisma

because anything is possible with Charisma

Creepy Cincinnati

Cincinnati Hauntings & Urban Legends

%d bloggers like this: