Rawiri Paratene

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Rawiri Paratene
Born Hokianga, New Zealand

Rawiri Paratene ONZM is a New Zealand stage and screen actor, director and writer. He is known for his acting roles in Whale Rider (2002) and The Insatiable Moon (2010).


Paratene was born at Motukaraka,[1] near Kohukohu, Hokianga, New Zealand, and is of Nga Puhi descent.[2] He grew up in the Otara suburb of Auckland and attended Hillary College as David Broughton, the English form of his name.[1]

Paratene initially struggled with reading and writing at school, but went on to be the first Maori graduate of the New Zealand Drama School.[3]

As a young student in the 1970s, Paratene was a member of Nga Tamatoa, an activist organisation which fought for Maori rights, land, language and culture. Paratene was President of the Wellington chapter. Today, working in the arts, Paratene aspires to have more Maori stories on film.[4]



He is an actor, director and writer and appeared as Friar Lawrence in the 2009 London Globe Theatre production of Romeo and Juliet.

In 2014 Rāwiri joined the cast of the London Globe Theatre's two-year world tour of Hamlet, visiting 205 counties. Rāwiri was the only non-British based actor in the cast.[5]



Personal life and politics[edit]

On 18 September 2008 the Green Party announced he was standing as their candidate for Maungakiekie in the 2008 election.[6]

He is the father of Marama Davidson, who became a Green Party MP in 2015 when Russel Norman resigned. She had previously stood for the Green Party in the Ikaroa-Rāwhiti by-election, 2013 and the 2014 general election.


  • 2013 Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year Honours For services to film, television and theatre
  • 2011 Aotearoa Film & Television Award for Best Actor in a Feature Film – The Insatiable Moon (Arthur)
  • 1996 NZ Film & Television Award for Best Actor – Dead Cert (Hare)
  • 1983 Winner of the Robert Burns Fellowship
  • 1980 Winner Mobil Radio Award for 'Proper Channels' Radio Play (Production)
  • 1980 Winner Mobil Radio Award for 'Proper Channels' Radio Play (Writing)
  • 1976 Winner of the Maori Writers' Award


  1. ^ a b Battista, Jon (1998). "Paratene, Rawiri". The Oxford Companion to New Zealand Literature. 
  2. ^ "All the world's a stage for Rawiri". Stuff. 21 April 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "Rawiri Paratene – Biography". NZ On Screen. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/CU1404/S00384/rawiri-paratene-in-the-globe-shakespeare-global-tour.htm
  6. ^ "Rawiri Paratene stands as Green candidate". Green Party. 18 September 2008. Retrieved 21 September 2008. 

External links[edit]