He has won more awards than you can count on your fingers and toes, including five Oscars, four BAFTAs, and three New Zealand Film Awards. In 2010, he was made a Knight Companion of The New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to film. Last night, Sir Richard Taylor was presented with the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year award at an awards dinner in Auckland.
The award announcement noted the many honors he had received as co-founder of Weta Workshop, but stressed, “Richard had set a shining example by being a global player in the international movie industry, yet chose to base himself in New Zealand.
“Richard was an extraordinary New Zealander who demonstrated exceptional achievements while remaining true to his Kiwi values,” it said.
“But most importantly, Richard is a passionate and articulate New Zealander, committed to this country and committed to showing New Zealanders that we can do it here.”
Sir Richard said, “Of all the countries in the world to be a finalist for, it would have to be this one. It’s very special. It’s hard to put any words to it, really.”
He said, “Twenty-five years ago, there was a belief that there was no future in the arts.” His greatest pride was proving to New Zealand’s youth that they could have a career in creative industries on their home soil.
He made sure to celebrate his partner Tania Rodger who runs Weta with him, but always seems to fall under his shadow.
He promised to continue to be an advocate for New Zealand into the future. “I hope I can do you proud.”
All of us here at Middle-earth News would like to send our congratulations along to Sir Richard Taylor!