Anna Paquin is a New Zealand-Canadian actress. She started her career as a child actress and became the second-youngest winner in the history of the Academy Awards when she won an Oscar at the age of 11 under the Best Supporting Actress category for her performance as Flora McGrath in Jane Campion's 1993 period drama film The Piano.
Lorde is a New Zealand singer-songwriter best known for contributing to the soundtrack of the popular American sci-fi adventure film The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. Her song Yellow Flicker Beat was released as the lead single from the film's successful soundtrack. In 2013 and 2014, she was featured in Time magazine's most influential teenagers list.
Jacinda Ardern is the current Prime Minister of New Zealand. In October 2017, at the age of 37, she became the world's youngest female head of government. Ardern was praised for the way she led her country after the Christchurch mosque shootings in March 2019 and handled the COVID 19 pandemic. She led her party to victory in 2020 general elections.
Lucy Lawless is a New Zealand singer and actress best known for her portrayal of Xena in the popular TV series Xena: Warrior Princess. She is also known for playing Lucretia in Spartacus: Blood and Sand, which earned her the 2010 Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television. Lucy Lawless is also involved in charity work.
Thomasin McKenzie is a New Zealand actress best known for playing Tom in the 2018 American film, Leave No Trace. Her performance earned her the National Board of Review Award under the Breakthrough Performance category. Thomasin McKenzie was also honored by the Seattle Film Critics Society with the Best Youth Performance award in 2019 for her performance in Jojo Rabbit.
Benee is a New Zealand singer-songwriter who achieved international recognition after the release of her 2019 single Supalonely, which went viral on TikTok. In 2019 and 2020, she won almost all the major awards at the New Zealand Music Awards, becoming a national celebrity at the age of 20.
Katherine Mansfield was a New Zealand modernist writer best remembered for her short stories. Her life and career inspired several films, plays, novels, and TV series. In 1973, she became the subject of a BBC miniseries titled A Picture of Katherine Mansfield. In 2011, actress Kate Elliott played Mansfield in a TV biopic titled Bliss.
Kerry Bishé is an American actress best known for her portrayal of Donna Clark in the period drama TV series, Halt and Catch Fire. After being born in New Zealand, Kerry Bishé moved to the United States, where she established herself in the entertainment industry, appearing in films like Argo, for which she received the prestigious Screen Actors Guild Award.
Initially a journalist, Nancy Wake earned the nickname The White Mouse for her skilful spying on Germans. Working under the alias Helene for the SOE, the stiletto-wearing socialite earned respect for her 500 km bicycle ride to report a situation to London, while being chased by the Nazis.
A popular wrester from New Zealand, Cheree Georgina Crowley, better known as Dakota Kai, has won the NXT Womens Tag Team Championship twice. Before joining WWE, she had wrestled in countries such as Japan, Australia, and the US, under the ring name Evie. She is also a popular streamer on Twitch.
Hayley Westenra is a New Zealand singer and songwriter best known for her album Pure which became one of New Zealand's fastest selling albums of all time. The album, which sold over two million copies worldwide, peaked at number one on the UK classical charts. Hayley Westenra is also a well-known philanthropist; she contributes to charities around the world.
Parris Goebel is a New Zealand dancer, choreographer, singer, actress, and director. She is credited with founding a dance school named The Palace Dance Studio where she serves as the main choreographer. Parris Goebel's dance school has produced groups like The Royal Family, which has won the prestigious World Hip Hop Dance Championship thrice in a row.
Born to a dentist father in New Zealand, Jean Batten was initially sent to England to study music. However, she earned a pilot’s license instead and made many aviation records, which included completing the first solo flight from England to New Zealand. In her final years, she became a recluse.
Helen Clark is a New Zealand politician who served as the Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1999 to 2008. She was only the second woman to hold the prime minister's office in New Zealand. An important politician, Helen Clark also served as the Minister of Health from 1989 to 1990 and as the Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2008.
Melanie Lynskey is a New Zealand actress best known for her portrayal of Rose in the popular American sitcom Two and a Half Men. Over the years, she has won several prestigious awards such as a Critics' Choice Award, Hollywood Film Award, and Gracie Award.
Born in England and educated in Scotland, Kate Sheppard later moved with her family to New Zealand. A fiery feminist, she led the WCTU women’s suffrage campaign, making New Zealand the first country that granted its women the right to vote. She also encouraged women to participate in physical activities.
Ngaio Marsh was a New Zealand theatre director and crime writer. Counted among the Queens of Crime alongside other crime writers like Agatha Christie, Marsh is best remembered for her famous character, Roderick Alleyn. She received several prestigious awards and was made an inductee of the Detection Club in 1974. The Ngaio Marsh Award is presented annually in her memory.
Zoë Bell is a New Zealand actress and stuntwoman. She is best known for her stunt work in films like Kill Bill and Xena: Warrior Princess where she doubled for Uma Thurman and Lucy Lawless respectively. Zoë Bell is the recipient of several prestigious awards, such as World Stunt Awards and Women in Film and Television New Zealand Award.
Ladyhawke is a New Zealand multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter. She is best known for her self-titled debut studio album, which earned her a couple of New Zealand Music Awards and an ARIA Music Award. Ladyhawke is also well-known for her successful collaborations with other popular artistes like Pnau and Broods.
Bic Runga is a New Zealand multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter. An exponent of pop music, Runga is best known for her song Sway, which achieved immense popularity in the United Kingdom, Australia, and Ireland. The recipient of many New Zealand Music Awards, Bic Runga was made an inductee of the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame in 2016.
South African-born New Zealand actor Lesley-Ann Brandt was first noticed for her performance as Naevia in the Starz series Spartacus: Blood and Sand. She later soared to fame as the Vertigo/DC Comics character Mazikeen in the hit Netflix series Lucifer. She has also appeared in a couple of music videos.
New Zealand actor Dianna Fuemana was 16 when she quit school and got married. She later got divorced before she began dating Australian actor Jay Ryan. The mother of three is known for plays such as Frangipani Perfume and Mapaki and has written and directed a few short films, too.
New Zealand model and actress, Rachel Hunter, is best known as the host of the TV show Rachel Hunter's Tour of Beauty. Pretty and confident as a young girl, she began modeling as a teenager. She has worked with Cover Girl cosmetics and has been featured on several magazine covers, including Vogue, Elle, Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrated, and Playboy.
Jenny Shipley is a New Zealand retired politician who became the first female Prime Minister of the country in 1997. She served as the Prime Minister until 1999 and then served as the Leader of the Opposition from 1999 to 2001. An influential politician, Jenny Shipley also served as the Minister of Health from 1993 to 1996.
In 1993, Jane Campion became the first female filmmaker to be honored with the Palme d'Or for her film The Piano, which also earned her an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. In 2022, Campion became the first woman to win Oscars for both screenwriting and directing when her film The Power of the Dog earned her the Best Director award.
Australian-born New Zealand actor Keisha Castle-Hughes is best known for her performance as Paikea in Whale Rider, which earned her an Academy Award nomination at age 13, making her the youngest to achieve the feat back then. She also made waves as Obara Sand in Game of Thrones.
Brooke Fraser is a New Zealand singer-songwriter best known for her 2010 single, Something in the Water. Over the course of her career, Fraser has won several awards, including a Grammy for her song What a Beautiful Name. She has also won many New Zealand Music Awards. Also a philanthropist, Fraser was part of the 2012 charity song, Feel Inside.