Rachel House honoured for over 25 years in Performing Arts

By Tepara Koti
Rachel House - Photo / file

Rachel House of Ngāti Mutunga and Ngāi Tahu descent is now an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her contribution to Performing Arts.

For over 25 years, House has worked as an actor, a director, voice artist and overall performer in some of New Zealand's most notable productions.

Rachel Jessica Te Ao Maarama House was born in Auckland in 1971, and raised in Kamo with her parents John and Sheila House.

Photo / Baby Rachel with John & Sheila House

House rose to early acclaim with her performance in the one-woman play, "Ngā Pou Wāhine" by Briar Grace-Smith.

She performed in over 25 theatre productions between 1994 - 2003 and has featured in a number of television programmes including Super City, The Blue Rose and Māori Television's Ask Your Auntie and Find Me A Māori Bride.

Photo / Ask Your Auntie - Māori Television

House has played roles in New Zealand feature films including Whale Rider, Eagle vs Shark, Boy, White Lies.

Photo / Whale Rider (2002)

Photo / Boy (2010)

Photo / White Lies (2013)

In 2016, House also held a role in New Zealand's highest grossing film ever, Hunt For The Wilderpeople, as well as being the voice of Granma Tala in Disney's Moana.

Photo / Disney's Moana (2016)

As an award-winning director, she has staged theatrical productions in New Zealand and the United Kingdom, and toured productions to Canada and Australia.

She has been instrumental in bringing Māori and Pacific culture to a wide international audience.

In 2012, she directed the te reo Māori production of "Troilus and Cressida" at the Globe Theatre in London.

Photo / Troilus & Cressida crew (2012)

In the same year, she received the New Zealand Arts Foundation's Laureate Award, given to an artist with prominence and outstanding potential for future growth.

In 2016, House received the WIFT (Women in Film & Television) NZ Mana Wāhine Award for her contribution to theatre and film, both in front of and behind the camera.

This year she was nominated for Best Actress for the 2017 Rialto Channel New Zealand Film Awards, or The Moas, for her performance in Hunt For The Wilderpeople.

Photo / Hunt For The Wilderpeople (2016)

With her vast experience in the Screen Industry, her years of nurturing and guiding young upcoming Māori actors has also been invaluable.

Here's her sit-down interview on Māori Television's show, All Talk With Anika Moa:

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