When I first started traveling most people didn’t know much about my home country. Once the Lord of Rings movies came out everyone suddenly knew more about New Zealand. But there’s more to New Zealand than gorgeous scenery. We have produced some very interesting and famous people. My TT this week is about famous New Zealanders.
Thirteen Famous New Zealanders
1. Sir Peter Blake – sailor and navigator. Famous for his lucky red socks during the America’s Cup campaign. Murdered by river pirates while on an environmental research trip on the Amazon River.
2. Sir Edmund Hillary – mountaineer and explorer. First man, along with Sherpa Tenzing, to climb Mt Everest. Famous for the immortal words, “We knocked the bastard off.” He was born in Tuakau, the same town where I lived and went to school. He is on the NZ $5 note.
3. Peter Jackson – film director and actor. Famous for the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
4. Bruce McClaren – famous international motor racing driver, engineer and designer. His name is still used in Formula 1 motor racing to this day. Died while testing one of his cars.
5. Herbert J (Burt) Munro – land speed record holder in his motorcycle. His story is told in the movie The Fastest Indian staring Anthony Hopkins.
6. Kate Sheppard – Women suffragette and responsible for helping women to get the vote in New Zealand. New Zealand women were the first in the world to get the vote. She is on the NZ $10 note.
7. Kiri Te Kanawa – Opera singer. She sang at Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s wedding.
8. Ernest Rutherford – Scientist who split the atom. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1908. He is on the NZ $50 note.
9. Dame Edith Ngaio Marsh – a very good mystery writer.
10. Sir Peter Snell – athlete and gold medal winner at the Rome and Tokyo Olympics. World Record holder.
11. Jane Campion – Film director. Her works include The Piano, which starred a young Anna Pacquin.
12. Jean Batten – Aviator. She set many solo flying records such as first direct flight from England to Auckland in 1936.
13. Sir Truby King – Founder of the Plunket Society for babies in New Zealand. Well known as a health reformer and a Director of Child Welfare. He was the first New Zealander to be given a state funeral.
Extra – Richard Pearse – is said to have flown almost nine months earlier than the Wright Brothers.
Okay quiz time – have you heard of any of these famous New Zealanders?
Sources: Wikipedia, New Zealand in History