Sir Peter Jackson
Born in Wellington and raised in humble Pukerua Bay, Sir Peter is undeniably one of New Zealand’s most recognisable exports. He has helped to firmly establish New Zealand on the map, not only as a bucket-list destination for tourists but also for filmmakers from around the globe.
Sir Peter’s love and fascination for filmmaking started early. He was just eight years old when he picked up his first Super 8 cine-camera, and began making short films with friends – his inspiration drawn from his favourite fantasy productions.
Sir Peter’s focus on gory horror comedy such as Bad Taste (1987) and Braindead (1992) shifted with the project Heavenly Creatures (1994) which received considerable critical acclaim, nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards. Led to Sir Peter winning the rights to bring J.R.R Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings to life on the big screen – with a last-minute deal for a trilogy. Widely considered to be one of the biggest and most ambitious projects ever undertaken in Hollywood, at first, all predictions pointed to horrendous box office losses. However, they were wrong – and the films went on to achieve mammoth critical and commercial success. Peter Jackson became a household name, garnering 800 nominations and 475 wins, including Academy Awards, BAFTAs, Golden Globes and Saturn Awards.
Other Sir Peter works include King Kong (2005), The Lovely Bones (2009), District 9 (2009), The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (2011) and the Hobbit Trilogy (2012-2014).
In 2002, Sir Peter was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to film, and in 2010, promoted to King Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. In 2012, Sir Peter was honoured with New Zealand’s highest civilian honour, being inducted as a Member of the Order of New Zealand.
Watch Sir Peter Jackson accept his award here.