• Taika Waititi. Image from: Stuff.co.nzTaika Waititi. Image from: Stuff.co.nz

VUW Alumnus Taika Waititi wins New Zealander of the Year Award

Actor and film director Taika Waititi has recently been awarded the New Zealander of the Year accolade.

The awards, which are sponsored by Kiwibank, were set up to celebrate the achievements, community involvement, and contribution to society of New Zealanders. Nominations are made by the public, with a group of judges eventually choosing the winners in six different categories: New Zealander of the Year; Young New Zealander of the Year; Senior New Zealander of the Year; New Zealand Innovator of the Year; New Zealand Community of the Year; New Zealand Local Hero.

Taika Waititi is a Victoria University of Wellington alumnus, a writer, director, actor, and visual artist.  His recent film Hunt for the Wilderpeople received international acclaim, and he is currently directing the new Marvel movie, Thor: Ragnarok.

On the Award’s website Waititi’s work is described as: “Waititi’s creative flair and distinctive storytelling has shown New Zealand’s unique cultural traits to millions of people.  The humble and easy-going nature of his characters resonate with New Zealand and international audiences.   Combined with stunning visual cues of New Zealand life and landscapes, his films epitomise what makes New Zealand a truly special place to live.”

Chief judge Cameron Bennett said Waititi received the award for his commitment to exploring and promoting New Zealand's identity and his work to reduce youth suicide rates and poverty through providing creative outlets.

You can find out more about the New Zealander of the Year Awards here.

If you are interested in finding out more about studying at Victoria University of Wellington, a representative will be joining us at the Study Options Open Days in Birmingham and London this March.

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