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Hero image for Koha - Merata Mita Interview

Koha - Merata Mita Interview

Television (Full Length) – 1984

In this report for weekly Māori programme Koha, pioneering Pasifika reporter Ramona Papali’i profiles her friend and former Koha colleague Merata Mita. Mita shares her arduous journey as the country’s first Māori woman filmmaker, culminating in the making of classic documentaries Bastion Point Day 507 and Patu!. Papali'i is invited to Mita's tribal marae in Maketu, and the home she shares with her five children in Auckland. There are also glimpses into Mita on the set of The Quiet Earth with her partner, director Geoff Murphy. Throughout Mita explains what is behind the creative fire that burns in her belly.

I mean a lot of people have difficulty in accepting the fact that I'm a filmmaker, and many of them don't accept the fact. And it's something I have got quite used to, and you know tucked away as something to be continually struggled against. And so I always have this desire to do things not well, but as brilliantly as possible, because I think once the work shows that you're capable of doing something, then all the other prejudices about race and sex may perhaps fall away.
– Merata Mita on facing adversity for being a Māori woman filmmaker, at the start of this report