Anzac Wallace

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Anzac Hohepa Wallace, [1] also known as Zac Wallace, born Norman Pene Rewiri [2] (1943 – 8 April 2019), [3] was a New Zealand actor and former trade union delegate. [4] He is best known for his role as Te Wheke in the 1983 New Zealand film Utu . [5] [6] [7]

<i>Utu</i> (film) 1983 film by Geoff Murphy

Utu is a 1983 New Zealand film directed and co-written by Geoff Murphy. Anzac Wallace, who had done little acting up until that point, takes the starring role of Te Wheke, a warrior who sets out to get vengeance after British forces kill his people. The cast also includes Bruno Lawrence and Kelly Johnson. Sometimes described as "a Maori Western", Utu was reputed to have one of the largest budgets for a New Zealand film up until that time.


Early life

Wallace grew up in Mission Bay, Auckland. His iwi affiliation was Ngāpuhi. [8] As a youth, he was involved in petty crime, eventually escalating to armed robbery, for which he spent several years in prison until 1974. During his time in prison, he taught himself to read. [9] [2] He then went to work in earthmoving, working as part of the Auckland Mangere Bridge project. [4]

Mission Bay, New Zealand

Mission Bay is a seaside suburb of Auckland city, on the North Island of New Zealand, with a population of 5469. The suburb's beach is a popular resort, located alongside Tamaki Drive. The area also has a wide range of eateries. Mission Bay is located seven kilometres to the east of the city centre, on the southern shore of the Waitematā Harbour, between Orakei and Kohimarama. It covers an area of 1.08 km2, about three quarters of which comprises low hills, surrounding the remaining quarter, which slopes down to the sea. Local government of Mission Bay is the responsibility of the Orakei Local Board, which also includes the suburbs of Orakei, Kohimarama, St Heliers, Glendowie, St Johns, Meadowbank, Remuera and Ellerslie.

Auckland Metropolitan area in North Island, New Zealand

Auckland is a city in the North Island of New Zealand. Auckland is the largest urban area in the country, with an urban population of around 1,628,900. It is located in the Auckland Region—the area governed by Auckland Council—which includes outlying rural areas and the islands of the Hauraki Gulf, resulting in a total population of 1,695,900. A diverse and multicultural city, Auckland is home to the largest Polynesian population in the world. The Māori-language name for Auckland is Tāmaki or Tāmaki-makau-rau, meaning "Tāmaki with a hundred lovers", in reference to the desirability of its fertile land at the hub of waterways in all directions.

Iwi are the largest social units in Aotearoa Māori society. The Māori-language word iwi means "people" or "nation", and is often translated as "tribe", or "a confederation of tribes". The word is both singular and plural in Māori.


Despite having minimal acting experience, Wallace was cast in the lead role of Te Wheke in Geoff Murphy's acclaimed 1983 film Utu . [2] In 1985 he appeared in The Silent One , The Quiet Earth and Dangerous Orphans . [4] Shortly afterwards, he departed for Australia, returning to New Zealand in 2013. [4] He appeared in Shortland Street as Rocky Hannah in 2016. [4]

Geoff Murphy New Zealand filmmaker

Geoffrey Peter Murphy was a New Zealand filmmaker, producer, director and screenwriter best known for his work during the renaissance of New Zealand cinema that began in the last half of the 1970s. His second feature Goodbye Pork Pie (1981) was the first New Zealand film to win major commercial success on its own soil. Murphy directed several Hollywood features during the 1990s, before returning to New Zealand as second-unit director on The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Murphy was also at different times a scriptwriter, special effects technician, schoolteacher and trumpet player.

<i>The Quiet Earth</i> (film) 1985 science fiction movie directed by Geoff Murphy

The Quiet Earth is a 1985 New Zealand science fiction post-apocalyptic film directed by Geoff Murphy and starring Bruno Lawrence, Alison Routledge and Peter Smith as three survivors of a cataclysmic disaster. It is loosely based on the 1981 science fiction novel of the same name by Craig Harrison. Its other sources of inspiration have been listed as the 1954 novel I Am Legend, Dawn of the Dead, and especially the 1959 film The World, the Flesh and the Devil, of which it has been called an unofficial remake.

<i>Shortland Street</i> New Zealand television soap opera

Shortland Street is a New Zealand prime-time soap opera centering on the fictitious Shortland Street Hospital, first broadcast on TVNZ 2 on 25 May 1992. It is the country's longest-running drama and soap opera, being broadcast continuously for over 6,000 episodes and 26 years, and is one of the most watched television programmes in New Zealand.


Wallace died on 8 April 2019 from cancer. [10] [11] He was survived by his wife, Deidre Nehua.

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The following lists events that happened during 2019 in New Zealand.


  1. "Anzac Wallace death notice". New Zealand Herald. 11 April 2019. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  2. 1 2 3 Gelder, Lawrence Van (30 September 1984). "Out of Pridson and into the Movies". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  3. "Zac Wallace a modern day warrior". Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 Screen, NZ On. "Anzac Wallace | NZ On Screen". Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  5. "'The Dead Lands' and pre-colonial representation in cinema". SBS Movies. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  6. Pulver, Andrew (4 December 2018). "Geoff Murphy, pioneer of modern New Zealand cinema, dies aged 80". The Guardian. ISSN   0261-3077 . Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  7. Screen, NZ On. "Utu | Film | NZ On Screen". Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  8. 'Utu' lead actor Anzac Wallace passes away, Māori Television, 8 April 2019
  9. "Anzac Wallace went from teenage thief to scene-stealer and activist". Stuff. Retrieved 2019-04-13.
  10. "Utu actor Zac Wallace dies from cancer". TVNZ. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  11. "Revered Utu actor Anzac Wallace dies following battle with cancer". 8 April 2019. ISSN   1170-0777 . Retrieved 8 April 2019.