Ngāti Ranginui / Ngāi te Rangi / Ngāti Haua/ Ngāti Pikiao
Actor, artistic director, astronomer, societal activist, voice-over artist, women’s champion - Aroha Rawson stands tall in our cultural landscape.
As an actor she has played many parts in diverse media, including pioneering work in the pilot and two seasons of early web series Rurangi, winner of the 2022 International Emmy for a Short Form Series.
Her stage roles have been equally varied, often with a strong Māori connection.
Most recently she has endeared herself to a broad television audience playing Hine in the three seasons of TV3’s Mean Mums, for which she was a Best Supporting Actress finalist in the 2020 NZ Television Awards.
Other memorable television roles have been in Shortland Street, The Gulf, The Brokenwood Mysteries, The Dead Lands, Panthers and Ahikaroa.
In short film Aroha is known for Yellow Roses and The Brylcreem Boys, which was accepted into the Toronto Imaginative Short Film Festival
Big screen appearances have included Mahana, Same But Different, and Cousins.
Aroha was born in Tāmaki Makaurau, grew up in Te Waipounamau and is of Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Haua, Ngāti Pikiao, Scots and Irish descent.
She fell in love with acting at 11 years old and went on to train with the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
Her decades-long interest in Māori, Maya and Greek astronomies has also given her a special insight into concepts of wellness, and Māori perceptions of time and history. She is is committed to her ongoing journey learning rongoā (Māori healing) and te reo Māori.
In other lives Aroha has been a chef, and a miner in the sapphire and opal fields of Australia.
In her down time she can be found fishing, foraging, writing, dancing and enjoying amazing food and music with good humans all around Aotearoa.