Julie Christie is named a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to governance and the television industry. Now a director of MediaWorks, Christie founded production company Touchdown, which later became Eyeworks and is now Warner Brothers TV. Her 2009 John O’Shea Memorial Address to the SPADA Conference made a case for the commercialisation of the industry.
Rachel Lang, the writer and co-creator of Outrageous Fortune (with James Griffin), becomes a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit. With Gavin Strawhan, Lang’s most recent creations here were last year’s Filthy Rich, which will return, and Dirty Laundry, which won’t. She and Strawhan also created recent Aussie series Hyde & Seek.
Actors Mark Hadlow and Rachel House become Officers of the New Zealand Order of Merit. Hadlow was most recently on screens in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy and will next appear in Mortal Engines, which Jackson is producing. House has recently been seen on screens in Hunt for the Wilderpeople and heard in Moana and award-winning short Cradle.
Peter Hayden, who helped establish the National History Unit (now NHNZ) is an actor and writer who retired about five years ago. He becomes a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit. Hayden began at the NHU as a writer and narrator (and was later one of the voices of Footrot Flats).
Emily Perkins, who also spent some time in front of the camera early in her career, becomes a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit. As well as her own short stories and novels, Perkins adapted Eleanor Catton’s The Rehearsal for Alison Maclean’s feature, which opened last year’s NZIFF.
Minister Maggie Barry welcomed the announcement, calling those honoured “inspiring and committed people working hard every day to help tell New Zealand’s stories”.