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Hero image for Rangatira: Merata Mita - Making Waves

Rangatira: Merata Mita - Making Waves

Television (Full Length Episode) – 1998

Ngā Tamatoa was really fortunate in that we had a whole group of really articulate, intelligent, beautiful Māori women who had tremendous kaha, and who were really the strength of Ngā Tamatoa in Auckland. And Merata was one of them ... when Merata began to get into film work it was simply a continuation of the work she had been doing as a member of Ngā Tamatoa.
– Former Ngā Tamatoa leader Syd Jackson
She doesn 't just make waves, she upsets the waka. And that's because she's born out of the sense of resistance that's there in the midst our people. She epitomises that sense of resistance, and has used film as a a means by which to capture that resistance, and pass it on to others.
– Hone Kaa talks about Merata Mita, in a discussion after the documentary
I actually can't think of another filmmaker, another documentary maker, in this country — and I have worked with damn well all of them — who has the analysis, the clear, sharp, and honest analysis that she has within her films. And as such, I regard her as the most important documentary maker that we have.
– Patu! editor Annie Collins on Merata Mita's importance
..there was rather a lot of controversy within the film industry and within anybody who knew that the film was being made, to Merata actually being the director of the film. And it seemed that this criticism was coming because people felt that she would put a Māori bias onto the film. Of course nobody questioned the fact that everything else that went onto television at that stage in this country actually had a Pākehā bias because there were no Māori people inputting into either television or the film industry.
– Patu! editor Annie Collins
...it was really the first time that Māori programmes had been made on any television station in New Zealand where Māori people were broadcasting to ourselves as a community, directly ... Merata was I think about the second or third person I ever spoke to about the programme.
– Producer Ray Waru on TV programme Koha
If you want to challenge ways of looking at telling stories, and ways of telling Māori stories, then there is a way other than the Western model. A lot more Māori people understood Mauri than Pākehā people. And I couldn't really wish for anything better than that.
– Merata Mita on reaction to her 1988 feature Mauri
...it started out being the film that recorded how the tour would be stopped, and it turned into this ugly monster that became the Springbok tour.
– Director Merata Mita on her documentary Patu!