New Zealanders are very proud of their heritage, and with so many famous people to have emerged from the country it’s entirely justified. Read more about some of the planet’s most famous New Zealanders and how they’ve impacted on and even changed the world.
Russell Crowe, Actor
Born in the capital of Wellington in 1964, Russell Crowe is one of New Zealand’s most famous exports, though he did move to Australia when he was just a small boy. Now one of Hollywood’s most well-known actors, he’s starred in box office smashes such as Gladiator, LA Confidential, and A Beautiful Mind, which scooped him an Oscar.
Ernest Rutherford, Physicist
One of the most famous names in the scientific world, Rutherford was born in Nelson and went on to won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1908. Rutherford is most famous for pioneering nuclear science and splitting the atom, so it’s perhaps a little ironic that New Zealand is now a nuclear free country.
Peter Jackson, Film Director
Famous for directing Heavenly Creatures, the Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong amongst others, Peter Jackson was born in Pukerua Bay, North Island on 31st October 1961. Jackson was interested in cameras from a very early age and filmed a short science-fiction comedy with his first 16mm camera. His first feature film, Bad Taste, was completed in 1988 and from there Peter Jackson went on to become one of the most distinctive directors in the world. The Lord of the Rings trilogy was also filmed in his native New Zealand.
Sir Edmund Hillary, Explorer
Kiwis definitely have a sense of adventure, so it makes sense that one of the most renowned explorers hailed from New Zealand. Famous for being the first man to conquer the mighty Mt Everest alongside Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay, Hillary was definitely an intrepid explorer and was named by Time as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. You can visit the Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre located at Aoraki Mount Cook and learn all about his impressive career at the place where Hillary began his adventures on the slopes. Visit http://www.cheapflights.com.au/flights-to-New-Zealand/ and check it out for yourself.
Kate Sheppard, Suffragist
New Zealand is famous for being the first country in the world to give women equal voting rights to men, and that’s all thanks to the work of Kate Sheppard – the leader of the suffragette movement in New Zealand. As well as being an inspiration to the suffragist cause in New Zealand, Kate was a source of inspiration to women’s rights activists all over the world.
Sir Keith Park, Soldier
The Battle of Britain was one of the defining moments of the Second World War, and one of the key reasons it was such a success for the allied forces was due to Sir Keith Park, also known as the Saviour of Britain. Chief of the Royal Air Force, Lord Tedder said in 1947, “If any one man won the Battle of Britain, he did. I do not believe it is realized how much that one man, with his leadership, his calm judgment and his skill, did to save, not only this country, but the world.”