Merata Mita

Date of Birth: 19 June, 1942

Place of Birth: Maketū, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

Date of Death: 31 May, 2010

Place of Death: Auckland, New Zealand

*75% Māori [Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāi Te Rangi]
*25% British Isles [Scottish, some English, distant Cornish]

Merata was a New Zealand director, actor, and teacher. She was the first Māori woman to direct a feature film.

Merata was the daughter of Richard Tikitere Takuira Mita and Annie Pikitia McPhee. Merata had seven children from three different marriages, to Reijo Juhani Rautjoki, Mahuta (Beau) Mahue Tuhura, and fellow director Geoffrey (Geoff) Peter Murphy. Geoff and Merata’s son, Heperi (Hepi) Mita, is also a director. She was affiliated with Ngāti Pikiao and Ngāi Te Rangi.

Merata’s paternal grandfather was named Takuira Mita. Takuira was a carver of Ngāti Pikiao.

Merata’s paternal grandmother was Ngapera Parekitauranga (Pare) Ngawhika (the daughter of Wiremu Tikitere Te Otimi Ngawhika en Riria Te Puhi).

Merata’s maternal grandfather was Albert Prider McPhee (the son of Alexander McPhee and Sarah Ann Prider). Albert was born in Hamilton, Victoria, Australia. Alexander was from the Isle of Mull, Scotland. Sarah was born in Hamilton, the daughter of William Henry Prider/Prideaux, who was from Newland, Gloucestershire, England, and whose own father was Cornish; and of Christina Ellen/Ellenor McArthur, from Lochaber, Scotland.

Merata’s maternal grandmother was Matekino Uruiria/Uruira Wepiha (the daughter of Wepiha Te Rangiamoamoa and Paea Pikitia Mikaere). Matekino was born in Te Puke, Auckland, New Zealand.

Sources: Genealogies of Merata Mita –

Merata Rautjoki on the 1963 census –

Māori land family trust of Merata’s parents –

Genealogy of Merata’s mother –

Obituary of Merata’s son, Eruera Mita –


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