2 Jun 2010

Merata Mita goes home to Pukehina

9:35 pm on 2 June 2010

Maori film-maker Merata Mita has been taken back to Pukehina Marae in the Bay of Plenty.

Ms Mita, from Ngati Pikiao and Ngai Te Rangi, died suddenly in Auckland on Monday.

Her body lay in state overnight at the meeting house Tumutumuwhenua on Bastion Point, the scene of her first documentary.

Ngati Whatua kaumatua Joe Hawke told the tangi he believes the presence of Ms Mita's camera on the 507th and last day of the Bastion Point occupation in the late 1970s protected the people there from police violence.

Claudette Hauiti, deputy chair of Maori in film and television Nga Aho Whakaari, told Waatea News that Merata Mita challenged film-making conventions in a way that opened the door for other Maori and indigenous people to go through.

The funeral is in Pukehina at 11am on Friday.