News of New Zealanders via Global Media

Building Bridges on canvas

Building Bridges on canvas

One of NZ’s most respected Maori artists and pioneer of indigenous art in schools, John Bevan Ford, has died aged 75 from cancer. While tremendously skilled in traditional Maori wood carving, Ford is best perhaps known…

David Lange 1942-2005

David Lange 1942-2005

Former Prime Minister David Lange died on Saturday 13 August aged 63 after a long battle with ill health. He was regarded as “the best loved New Zealand political figure of the last 20 years” (Guardian Unlimited). Elected…

Visionary Remembered

Visionary Remembered

NZ’s scientific and business community has lost one of its brightest stars with the death of Pulse Data founder Dr Russell Smith. Smith and his wife, early childhood specialist Marian D’Eve, were both killed when their Cessna…

Rugby Stalwart Farewelled

Rugby Stalwart Farewelled

Former All Black captain, agricultural economist, and leading NZRU administrator – Bob Stuart, OBE – died in May aged 84. Although Stuart’s best playing years were taken up by military service during WW2, he successfully lead NZ…

Owen Wilkes: Global Peace Activist

Owen Wilkes: Global Peace Activist

Owen Wilkes, the New Zealand peace activist and global peace researcher, has died in Hamilton aged 65. In a tribute written from Beijing by Peter Hayes, he said “Owen Wilkes was a profoundly wedded…

Sir Joh Bows Out

Sir Joh Bows Out

Dannevirke-born and controversial seven-times Premier of Queensland Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen has died aged 94. The maverick politician was one of the most colourful but also divisive leaders in Australian political history. He was religiously, socially and politically…

Black Mountain Poet

Black Mountain Poet

Robert Creeley, who helped transform postwar American poetry by making it more conversational and emotionally direct, has in Odessa, Texas. He was 78. Robert Creeley’s association with New Zealand dates from 1976 when he visited at…

A House Less Crowded

A House Less Crowded

March 26 saw the tragic death by suicide of drummer Paul Hester,  Melbourne-born member of seminal NZ bands Split Enz and Crowded House. “We all knew him as an effervescent, vivacious fireball of talent,” said soul singer Renee…

Science’s Conscience

Science’s Conscience

John Ziman, NZ-born scientist and humanist, has died aged 79. “After a brilliant youthful career in physics research he turned increasingly to reflection on the values and societal entanglements of the scientific endeavour as a whole ……

Janet Frame An International Loss

Janet Frame An International Loss

Janet Frame featured in the New York Times as one of many international art world notables to die in 2004, together with Marlon Brando, Ray Charles, Richard Avedon, Julia Child and more. Frame died of cancer on…

Farewell to Snow

Farewell to Snow

Legendary NZ trainer Snow Lupton has died aged 84. Lupton will be best remembered for saddling Kiwi to victory in the 1983 Melbourne Cup. ” an outstanding figure in NZ racing,” said Thoroughbred…

Lydiard’s Final Run

Lydiard’s Final Run

Arthur Lydiard, perhaps history’s premier distance-running coach and one of the first to promote fitness through jogging, has died aged 87, of a heart attack. He had been in the United States for a…

National Ikon

National Ikon

An Independent obituary for Pat Hanly calls him “the jester of modern NZ art … His images – exuberant, colourful, feisty and humorous – reflected the personality of their maker.” The subjects of Hanly’s…

LIFE Photographer

LIFE Photographer

Born in Levin 1916, educated Auckland Grammar, George Silk became a combat photographer for Australian Ministry of Information, covering the battles at close hand in the Middle East, North Africa, Greece and New Guinea. He joined…

Legacy in Letters

Legacy in Letters

Acclaimed author Maurice Shadbolt (72) also passed away this October. Shadbolt burst onto the international scene in 1959 with the publication of his short story collection, The New Zealanders, and is widely regarded as…

Edge Hero Remembered

Edge Hero Remembered

The science world – and the Edge community – lost one of its brightest stars with the death of Maurice Wilkins on October 5. Born in NZ in 1916, Wilkins was awarded the Nobel…

Passing of a Pioneer

Passing of a Pioneer

NZ’s first women’s Test cricket captain, Ruth Martin, died in Christchurch aged 90. Martin (then Ruth Symons) led NZ in their inaugural Test match, against England 1934-5. The Ruth Martin Cup is presented annually…

A Long Innings Remembered

A Long Innings Remembered

Obituaries for Auckland-born British Conservative MP, Sir Trevor Skeet, appeared in both the Independent and Guardian. Independent: “Academia in Britain has been vastly enriched by the infusion of talent from NZ, of whom Ernest Rutherford is…

Custodian of the English Language

Custodian of the English Language

Eminent lexicographer Robert W Burchfield has died aged 81. The Wanganui-born scholar rose to fame as editor of the 4-volume Supplement to the Oxford English Dictionary. The massive undertaking took nearly 30 years to complete -…

Pioneer Storyteller

Pioneer Storyteller

The death of ground-breaking NZ filmmaker Mike Walker was noted in the Scotsman, Miami Herald, and LA Times. Walker worked asa director, co-producer and co-writer on the films Kingi’s Story, Kingpin and…

He Maimai Aroha

He Maimai Aroha

Haere atu koutou hei whetu te rangi, tiaho mai mo ake tonu atu. He tohu aroha ki tenei morehu kuia. Rahera Windsor, spiritual leader of Britain’s Maori community, died May 3rd 2004 Born in Pupuke, 1925, she married…

“the Most Influential American Criminologist of His Time”

“the Most Influential American Criminologist of His Time”

Pioneering criminologist and novelist, Norval Morris, has died in Chicago aged 80. Born in Auckland, Morris studied in Australia, France, and England before embarking on his 30-year academic career at the University of Chicago…

A Sporting Life

A Sporting Life

NZ-born BBC sports producer and director, Malcolm Kemp, has died aged 57 of cancer. Kemp’s illustrious career saw him executive produce seven Grand Nationals, the 1994 football World Cup and 1996 European Cup, and…

Giant Kauri Tragically Felled

Giant Kauri Tragically Felled

NZ mourns the loss of its preeminent cultural historian, Michael King. The author of 34 books – including the groundbreaking autobiographical work Being Pakeha and acclaimed biographies of Dame Whina Cooper, Hone Tuwhare, and…

Comic Genius

Comic Genius

20 March 2004 – Martin Emond, internationally renowned comic-book artist, illustrator, and tattooist, died in LA on March 19 aged 34. Emond created the popular character Switchblade (star of NZ clothing brand Illicit) and…

“The New Zealand Native Who Helped Open the Door to the Stars”

“The New Zealand Native Who Helped Open the Door to the Stars”

17 March 2004 – William Pickering, one of the leading figures in US space exploration, died of pneumonia in California aged 92.  A graduate of Canterbury University and the California Institute of Technology, Wellington-born…

A Voice to Remember

A Voice to Remember

A Stanford University obituary paid tribute to Susan Okin, the Auckland-born author, lecturer, and activist described by a Stanford University colleague as “perhaps the best feminist political philosopher in the world.” The author of three acclaimed books – Women…

End of a Long Innings

End of a Long Innings

Gordon Lindsay Weir, the world’s oldest surviving Test cricketer, died in Auckland on October 31 aged 95 years and 151 days. Known in cricketing circles as ‘Dad,’ the right-hand batsman and medium-pace bowler played 11 Tests for…

A World in Pictures

A World in Pictures

British photojournalist, Joan Wakelin, died on September 23 aged 75. Wakelin is best known for her images of Sri Lankan boat-people, Australian Aboriginal and NZ Maori communities; the latter with which she had a special connection. She…

A Life Lived by the Sea

A Life Lived by the Sea

NZ-born WW2 hero, Sir William Crawford, has died in England aged 95. Crawford was gunnery officer and lieutenant-commander aboard the Rodney during the sinking of Germany’s great battleship, the Bismarck. His distinguished naval career also saw him…

A Bridge Over Troubled Water

A Bridge Over Troubled Water

Judith Piepe – social activist and cultural icon – has died in Levin aged 83. Famous for her mysterious origins and friendships with the likes of Cat Stevens and Paul Simon (she was his agent), Piepe’s door was…

Reconstructionist

Reconstructionist

Esteemed facial surgeon and dental safety innovator, David Poswillo, has died aged 76. Born in Gisborne, Poswillo’s career took him to Australia, England, Wales, Canada, and the US. As well as his role as a surgeon, Poswillo…

Possum Bourne Mourned

Possum Bourne Mourned

Rally champion Peter “Possum” Bourne, who died April 30th (aged 47), has been praised as “a humble man with rare ability, a relentless competitor who inspired a new generation of drivers.” “The most successful rally driver in…

Byow! Cartoonist With Cut Through Remembered

Byow! Cartoonist With Cut Through Remembered

John Kent, well-known political cartoonist, lecturer and illustrator, died on April 13 aged 65. Born in Oamaru, Kent’s work was a familiar feature in Private Eye,  Guardian, Daily Mail, The Sun and, finally, The…

“A Life Set to Music”

“A Life Set to Music”

Edwin “Ted” Carr – “grand old man of NZ music” – has died aged 76. At times a conductor, teacher, dancer and animator, Carr achieved his greatest fame late in life as a composer….

Epilogue Written to a Life of Words

Epilogue Written to a Life of Words

NZ lost one of its edgiest inhabitants with the death of Janet Frame from acute myeloid leukemia on January 29. Frame, the author of 11 novels, 5 collections of short stories, a poetry collection,…

“The Boot” Remembered

“The Boot” Remembered

Rugby fans around the world farewell Don “the Boot” Clarke, an incomparable All Black legend. Business Day calls him “an icon for a generation of NZers,” while The Australian remembers his match-winning conversion against France at Athletic Park…

Scholarly Send-off

Scholarly Send-off

The Times pays tribute to W.J.B Owen, academia’s pre-eminent Wordsworth scholar. Born in NZ in 1916, Owen forged a distinguished career in England and Canada. “Owen was a scholar’s scholar – meticulous, exact, exhaustive and always reliable…

Farewell to Leading Lady

Farewell to Leading Lady

The death of NZ’s acting doyenne Davina Whitehouse has been mourned at home and abroad, with obituaries appearing in The Boston Globe and The Independent. Her prolific career spanned stage, film, and television, and…

Giovanni Intra Remembered

Giovanni Intra Remembered

We are diminished to report the death of Giovanni Intra in New York City on December 17th 2002. Giovanni, artist, critic, gallerist  went east to stir up the LA art scene and established the gallery,  China…

IE (International Exploration) Browser

IE (International Exploration) Browser

“David Lewis was the most wonderfully fantastic scallywag I have ever met. His love for the ocean can only be balanced by the love of beautiful women for him” (Dick Smith). David Lewis -…

Intrepid Botanist Remembered

Intrepid Botanist Remembered

NZer Betty Molesworth Allen, OBE-awarded botanist and explorer, has died aged 89. Allen made her career in some of the harshest regions in the world; from the rainforests of Borneo, to the cliff-faces of southern Spain….

“Musician Who Revitalized Maori Culture”

“Musician Who Revitalized Maori Culture”

Dalvanius Prime, pioneer of Polynesian soul and hip-hop, has died aged 54. Prime developed his own take on American soul by merging its ballad form with traditional Maori vocal harmonies. In the early 70s…

Sir Garfield Todd “A Legend in His Lifetime”

Sir Garfield Todd “A Legend in His Lifetime”

Tributes continue to flow for NZ-born former PM of Southern Rhodesia, Sir Garfield Todd. The Washington Post obituary remembers his “rugged good looks, fluent oratory and lucid memory,” and The Guardian calls him “an internationally…

Life and Legacy

Life and Legacy

An in-depth look at Peter Blake’s life and (controversial) death makes some interesting observations about NZ society. The article surverys Blake’s mana: “a figure of clear-cut grace and stature” yet reflects on criticisms of…

A Believer in the Green Light

A Believer in the Green Light

“Without a doubt one of the most brilliant journalists and columnists of his generation.” Neal Travis, the “brash, swashbuckling New Zealand import”, legendary editor of The New York Post’s in/famous Page Six gossip column, as well as…

Alan Brunton: Mystic Gold From the Edge

Alan Brunton: Mystic Gold From the Edge

NZ performance artist Alan Brunton (57) died while touring Europe with his Red Mole theatre troupe, ” NZ letters of its one truly iconic radical figure.” Coming to prominence in the late 70s as…

Bryan Drake Remembered

Bryan Drake Remembered

New Zealand-born baritone Bryan Drake has died in London aged 76. A “fine musician with an equable temperament and warm personality”, Drake will be particularly remembered for his long association with Benjamin Britten and his…

NZ Founding Father of British Anthropology

NZ Founding Father of British Anthropology

Sir Raymond Firth, one of the world’s most prominent anthropologists, emeritus professor at London University, Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, and recipient of first Leverhulme medal (given to scholars of exceptional…

Kevin Smith Farewelled

Kevin Smith Farewelled

One of New Zealand’s best loved screen stars, Kevin Smith, dies aged 38, in a Beijing Hospital. Best known for playing Ares in the hit series Xena:Warrior Princess, Smith suffered head injuries in a…

An Iron Wool

An Iron Wool

John Milner, a New Zealander noted for successfully opening the Eastern Bloc to the international wool trade, dies aged 84. During the cold war, a period when bureaucracy and suspicion were rife, Milner’s “exceptional charm and approachability”…

“Gale From the Sea” Laid to Rest

“Gale From the Sea” Laid to Rest

More than 6ft tall, handsome and with the build of a rugby lock forward (which he was), John Platts-Mills blew into the English House of Commons as Labour MP in 1945 “like a gale…

“For You to See Our World the Right Way Round”

“For You to See Our World the Right Way Round”

Allen Curnow, one of New Zealand’s great 20th-century writers and poets, has died in Auckland. Daily Telegraph: “regarded by many as New Zealand’s greatest poet” Curnow helped define a separate NZ identity in verse,…

Native Art Expert

Native Art Expert

Noted Maori and Polynesian art expert Terence Tui A Tane Barrow, 78, died Aug. 31 at his Honolulu home. “He was very famous — anyone who wanted to authenticate Polynesian art would call…  from…

Advice to Note

Advice to Note

Icon of NZ music remembered. Composer Douglas Lilburn, 85, found a “distinctive voice from his native New Zealand.” The Guardian praises the “strong emotional appeal” of his music, noting that Lilburn  took to heart…

Historian Remembered

Historian Remembered

Professor Neville Phillips – erudite, open-minded “sometimes spiky”. One of New Zealand’s leading historians, remembered for the day he stood up to Rob Muldoon in defence of the university and intellectual freedom. Neville Phillips: Died July 2001