Thursday, 3 June 2010
at 10:40 pm by AnneE
Film-maker and dedicated supporter of Maori telling their own stories on film, Merata Mita (Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāi Te Rangi), CNZM, died suddenly this week. She was the first New Zealand woman to direct a feature-length documentary - the intense and moving "Patu!", recording clashes between protestors and police during the 1981 Springbok tour. Her 1988 feature film drama "Mauri" was, says New Zealand on Air, "only the second feature film drama to have a Māori woman director (1972's "To Love a Māori" was co-directed by Ramai Hayward and husband Rudall)." Her new documentary, "Saving Grace", screens on Māori Television in late June 2010, "as part of a Matariki special aimed at finding solutions to the issue of child abuse". This biography of Merata Mita underlines what a dedicated, distinguished woman she was, and what a great loss her untimely death is to Maori and New Zealand film.