May 12, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Tributes from around the world pour in for Merata Mita

2 min read

Tributes for Maori filmaker, Merata Mita are pouring in from around the world.

Merata Mita from Ngati Pikiao and Ngai Rangi passed away yesterday and Te Ao Maori (the Maori World) is reeling from loss.

Whaea Merata will be taken to Orakei Marae in Auckland later this afternoon for the night. She will then be taken by her whanau and friends to Pukehina Marae later this evening (June 1st). Pukehina Marae is located on State Highway 2 – 370 mtrs east of the Pongakawa Stream, just South of Tauranga. At this stage, the ‘Raa Nehu’ will be on Friday, the 4th of June.

She was Nga Tamatoa when most Maori were too scared to even think of protesting. She was a pioneer in contemporary film making and a visionary in the industry. She was the only one with the guts and the vision to be at Bastion Point to record the events of the day a documentary which she titled Day 506, MP Hone Harawira said of this incredible wahine.

Professor Lilikala Kameeleihiwa of the University of Hawai’i, a colleague of Merata’s, had this to say;

Of all the descendants of our common ancestor Tangaroa, Merata Mita has been the most eloquent advocate for Native voice in the dynamic story telling medium of film.

A fearless and defiant leader demanding Native entre into the Pakeha world of movie making, Merata was ruthless in her pursuit of Maori truth. A brilliant teacher of filmmaking, her compassion, her patience and her unfailing support of young Native film makers will never be forgotten by her students. Here at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, were she was a professor, she planted in our hearts the certainty that the ancestors would tell their stories through us. Loved and honored throughout the Indigenous world, Merata Mita will be forever cherished and remembered by the Hawai’inuiakea cousins.

Merata made documentaries on artist Ralph Hotere, rastafarians in Ruatoria (The Dread) and judicial injustice (The Shooting of Dominick Kaiwhata, 1993). She also helped produce produce the film Boy.

She also directed the video for Che Fu’s Waka, which won the Music Video of the Year Award at the 1999 Hawai’i Music Awards.

You can watch her work on NZ On Screen:

Click below for more links to news of her passing:

Te Karere on Merata Mita:

We will love you and honour your memory always Whaea Merata…

Swimming against the tide becomes an exhilarating experience. It makes you strong. I am completely without fear now.

– Merata Mita

12 thoughts on “Tributes from around the world pour in for Merata Mita

  1. Aue ra e kui, e tangi hotuhotu nei to iwi M?ori, kua ngaro atu koe te whetu marama, te whetu arahi, a, me kore ake matau ki te waka poteretere kua puhia noatia e nga hau pukerikeri a Tawhirimatea, rere ki konei, rere ki kona, kaore he tauranga. Aue e kui, ma wai rawa ra e whakatika te waka ka tikoki? Ma wai rawa ra e whakaara te iwi ka he? Ko wai rawa ra e tau hai kawe i to kauwae ki tawhiti? Ko wai rawa ra e tau hai mahi i to mahi? E kore e taea e kui, e kore e taea, kua mahue mai nei i a koe he wharuarua e kore e taea te whakaki i tenei wa, kua rukupopo te motu, kua hahaea te motu i to ngarotanga atu, aue taukuri e, hoki wairua mai ki a matau e kui, arahina to iwi e noho pani nei.

  2. Au? r? e kui, e tangi hotuhotu nei t? iwi M?ori, kua ngaro atu koe te whet? marama, te whet? ?rahi, ?, me kore ake t?tau inaianei ki te waka p?teretere kua p?hia noatia e ng? hau p?kerikeri a T?whirim?tea, rere ki konei, rere ki kon?, k?ore he tauranga. Au? e kui, m? wai rawa r? e whakatika te waka ka t?koki? M? wai rawa r? e whakaara te iwi ka h?? Ko wai rawa r? e tau hai kawe i t? kauwae ki tawhiti? Ko wai rawa r? e tau hai mahi i t? mahi? E kore e taea e kui, e kore e taea, kua mahue mai nei i a koe he wh?ruarua e kore e taea te whakak? i t?nei w?, kua rukupopo te motu, kua hahaea te motu i t? ngarotanga atu, au? taukuri e, hoki wairua mai ki a m?tau e kui, ?rahina t? iwi e noho pani nei.

  3. Kirea K?k?,

    Whakarongo ake r?,

    Koia i tae te ngangi o te ngatoro ki te h?pai t?

    Ka ngaue te Kauere nui, Te Kauere roa, te Kauere marumaru mai i whea…

    Mai i te nehenehe tapu

    Having never met her,

    Instead, only witnessed her actions and observed her works that this came to me…it must have been a wondrous environment, nehenehe tapu, that allowed such a strong and protective, Kauere nui – roa, marumaru, wahine to carve out works of intent. One can only mourn, ngangi o te ngatoro, the loss of a wahine that has impacted upon our times and those to come.

  4. kei te oho rere ko hina koe te wahine me te ranatira i kakari koe i te whakaatu i naa taona tuki iho o te ao Maoori no reira haere raa koe ki te moe naa roa ki hawaiki nui ki hawaiki roa … moe mai moe mai raa.

    taame iti mai Venice

  5. Annette you wouldve loved being at Orakei tonight when Merata came in, you could hear a pin drop. Doc, Joe, Naida ma were all there waiting for her. All the korero, all the aroha, all the tributes all wrapped around this rangatira of ours. Moe mai ra Merata xOxo

  6. Kia ora Annette indeed! I showed Patu to hundreds of students over the years (and Mauri). I remember the shock and awe of many young students watching Patu. Some made the comment that they couldn't believe New Zealanders protested that way. Merata Mita captured that moment in time in a brilliant and magical way. I also remember showing … See Morestudents Mauri which they loved. When I would tell them of the negative comments made about Mauri on release they put it down to "generational attitudes" (i.e. rednecks). Most found the film gentle and powerful with constrained dignity. (Which, in my view, is a good description of its director).

  7. Ae, kia ora Annette, I'm watching Patu right now in South Africa and feeling very proud.

  8. I love these comments of yours Aunty…they educate so many of us…and remind us of those enduring examples of strength that are often overlooked in our own iwi…

  9. I am glad that her whanau have allowed her to be honoured in this way. Two Te Arawa women were present during Bastion Point in solidarity with our Ngati Whatua Kin. Tuhipo Kereopa in front of the camera and Merata Mita behind the camera. Born of this struggle was the renouned PATU film which captured the passion; heartache and fight for … See Morejustice lead by Joe Hawke and the other on Takaparawha that day. I was honoured to be touched in my life by the courage and voices for freedom that these two whanaunga of mine showed to the world. I am sure Tuhipo joins with me at this time in acknowledging the genius of our relative Merata.

    Moe mai e te tuahine. Your struggle was not in vain….

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