PM acknowledges Geoff Murphy’s contribution to film and New Zealand culture

Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern has acknowledged the passing of leading New Zealand filmmaker Geoff Murphy, saying he was a trailblazer of the local film industry, making films that told our unique stories and put our culture on screen.

“Geoff Murphy will long be remembered for his significant contribution to New Zealand’s emerging film industry and for showcasing our distinct culture on screen,” says Jacinda Ardern.

“At a time when New Zealand was developing a cultural identity of our own, Geoff was helping us to shape a sense of who we are with the stories he told and the iconic images he created.

“He shared our culture in all he did from his early days with musical and theatrical co-operative Blerta, to his films like the road trip in Good Bye Pork Pie in 1981, a taste of our history in Utu, 1983; science fiction in The Quiet Earth, and even his work as second unit director on The Lord of the Rings.

“Geoff Murphy showed us that New Zealand stories mattered and were as relevant as any movie coming here from offshore.

A schoolteacher before he turned his talent to film, he has also been a scriptwriter, special effects technician, and trumpet player. In 2014 he was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to film.

“He has left an enduring legacy for all New Zealanders. I extend my sincere sympathy to his family and friends,” Jacinda Ardern said.