Jim Moriarty

James Moriarty MNZM (born 20 June 1953) is a New Zealand actor and theatre director, who began acting professionally in 1967. He came to national attention and is probably best known for his role as the school teacher Riki Winiata in the 1970s soap opera Close to Home.[1] His work has toured nationally and internationally. Moriarty is from the Māori tribes of Ngāti Toa, Ngāti Koata and Ngāti Kahungunu.[2]

He is also known for his performance as a Vietnam War veteran in John Broughton's solo work Michael James Manaia which toured New Zealand and played at the Edinburgh Festival in 1991.[3]

Moriarty is the artistic director of Te Rakau Hua O Te Wao Tapu Trust, a performing arts organisation that works with at-risk communities, creating and performing theatre in schools, marae and prisons, as well as professional theatres.[4]

In the 2001 Queen's Birthday Honours, Moriarty was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to drama.[5]

Moriarty's partner is playwright Helen Pearse-Otene. They have eight children.[6]


  1. ^ Napp, Bernie (4 June 2001). "Theatre work recognised". The Evening Post. p. 2.
  2. ^ "Jim Moriarty". NZ On Screen. Retrieved 9 November 2009.
  3. ^ Stachurski, Christina. "Michael James Manaia - The Personal is Political". Journal of New Zealand Literature: 125.
  4. ^ "Scars on the Heart: Jim Moriarty, interview with Alexander Bisley". The Lumiere Reader. Archived from the original on 22 May 2010. Retrieved 9 November 2009.
  5. ^ "Queen's Birthday honours list 2001". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 4 June 2001. Retrieved 2 July 2020.
  6. ^ "Mahana star Jim Moriarty: being a better man". Stuff. 26 February 2016. Retrieved 21 August 2021.

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