A memorial service is to be held for Martinborough-born New Zealand film pioneer Ramai Te Miha Hayward MNZM.

Mrs Hayward, of Ngai Tahu and Ngati Kahungunu, died in Auckland on July 3.

The funeral service was private but a public memorial service will be held at The Pumphouse in Takapuna, Auckland, from 4.30pm-7pm on October 4.

Mrs Hayward broke ground in several fields during her lifetime, winning acknowledgment as the first Maori cinematographer and professional photographer and the first, with husband Rudall Hayward, to make English-language films in communist China.


In 2006 she was made a Member of the Order of Merit for services to film and television, after being honoured a year earlier with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the inaugural Wairoa Maori Film Festival held in the town.

Mrs Hayward refused a damehood in the early 1990s in defiance of government plans to sell the Cape Palliser lighthouse and land to international buyers.

The invitation to the memorial in Auckland next month requests that prospective guests "in memory of Ramai, please feel free to wear a hat. Ladies' berets were her pleasure".