Posted Thursday 24 Jul 2014
You may have heard recently that a true pioneer of NZ film-making, Ramai Hayward passed away earlier this month. Ramai was a Life Member of WIFT AK and was made WIFT Auckland Patron at the 2004 WIFT International NZ Summit.
We have long held Ramai in high esteem due to her significant contribution to the NZ Film industry in both drama and documentary.
Her partnership with her husband Rudall formed one of the most instrumental and ground breaking working relationships in NZ film spanning decades from the 1930's to the 1970's. In that time she was credited frequently as Director, Writer and Producer, Ramai was also pioneering Actor, Film maker and Photographer and her work forms an important building block in New Zealand's film making history.
We take this moment to remember a beloved WIFT member and true trail-blazer, Ramai Hayward.
Kua hinga te totara, a mighty Totara tree has fallen.
Ramai Te Miha (Ngai Tahu, Ng?ti Kahungunu) was the first M?ori film-maker. She met Rudall Hayward, when he directed her in 'Rewi's Last Stand', (1936) and soon after they married.
Thus, a M?ori woman became actively involved in the production of moving images for the screen.
For more than thirty years Ramai and Rudall Hayward produced work together, including documentaries shot both in New Zealand ("The Song of the Wanganui", 1961) and abroad ("Inside Red China", 1958 ).
Ramai was a long-time and fervent supporter of the burgeoning M?ori film industry, a beautiful and gracious woman who will be deeply missed by wh?nau, friends and colleagues.
-Tribute by Ella Henry