Merata Mita

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Merata Mita, CNZM

Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāi Te Rangi

The revolution isn’t just running out with a gun. If a film I make causes indigenous people to feel stronger about themselves, then I’m achieving something for the revolution.” 

Merata Mita is well-known as a pioneering indigenous filmmaker and activist. The director of landmark documentaries that called out prejudice and injustice, Merata Mita not only made films, she also inspired and mentored others. Mita helped set up and lead the indigenous filmmaking programme at the University of Hawai’i and spoke on many panels, workshops and festivals. Merata Mita is herself the subject of several documentaries – most recently Merata: How Mum Decolonised the Screen (2018) made by her son Heperi Mita.

In this excerpt from Te Kete Aronui – Merata Mita, she speaks about Patu! – the documentary about the 1981 Springbok Tour to New Zealand which divided the country in two and marked the largest and most sustained period of civil disobedience in our recent history. Filmed from the point-of-view of those against the tour, Patu! was inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World Aotearoa/New Zealand register in 2012.

Find out more about Merata Mita:

Read the NZ On Screen biography of Merata Mita

See this interview about Merata Mita on E-Tangata, with Chelsea Winstanley.

Read about Merata: How Mum Decolonised the Screen

Check out our blog – Gauge – where Mita's son Heperi Mita writes about making his film Merata: How Mum Decolonised the Screen

Image: Stills Collection, Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision (Ref. No. S5992). Courtesy of Gil Hanly and Mita whānau.

Catalogue Reference F102803

Year 2007


Director: Jane Evans
Producer: Chelsea Winstanley, Rhonda Kite

Excerpt: 0:02:10

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Whakamahia ai mātou ngā pihikete ki te rapu māramatanga ki te āhua o tō whakamahi i tēnei paetukutuku, ki te whakapai hoki i tō whai wāhi mai. Ki te rapu kōrero anō pānuitia te kaupapahere tūmataiti.