Issue date: 
Monday, 31 January 2022

Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga New Zealand Film Commission is saddened to hear of the passing of actor Pete Smith (Te Rarawa, Te Aupouri) on 29 January.

Smith made his acting debut in Geoff Murphy’s classic science-fiction film, The Quiet Earth, as Api, one of three people left alive after an apocalyptic event.  The role won him a GOFTA and kickstarted a career that spanned film and television for three decades.

He went on to play Uncle Dooley in Once Were Warriors and Apeman in the follow-up, What Becomes of the Broken Hearted.  In 2004 he reunited with director Murphy for a small role in Spooked.  Other film roles included Horse in Allison Maclean’s Crush and Hone in Jane Campion’s The Piano.

Smith made regular appearances on television with roles in Plainclothes, Shortland Street, Greenstone and The Market, the latter earning him a Best Performance by a Supporting Actor award.

In 2006 he launched production company Puriri Productions with his partner through which he developed and presented gardening series Maramataka - Once Were Gardeners.

Our thoughts are with Smith’s partner, Mona Papali’I and his wider whanau.

Last updated: 
Monday, 31 January 2022