Mita MohI mbE, jp
'a gentle and dedicated warrior'
Mita Mohi, of Ngati Rangiwewehi, was a passionate sportsman. He played for New Zealand in the 1972 Rugby League World Cup, was highly involved in Maori tennis and was a professional wrestler!
Mita Mohi was devoted to the practice and teaching of mau rākau, the traditional art of Māori weaponry. He inspired many rangatahi to have pride in their identity as Māori and to believe in themselves. The actor Cliff Curtis is just one of the young people Mita mentored.
Mita began his working life as a train driver for New Zealand Railways. He went on to develop many other skills. He studied for, and gained, a Bachelor of Arts in Māori Studies at the age ripe old age or 58!
Over 35 years ago, Mita started the Mokoia taiaha wānanga which trained boys and men in the art of using the taiaha. He travelled around the country sharing his knowledge with other iwi.
Mita created a mau rākau programme to run in prisons to help at risk youth turn their lives around. He also served on marae committees, school boards, the Parole Board. He was a kaumatua for the police..
On top of all of this, Mita was a lecturer at Waiariki Institute of Technology and a Justice of the Peace. He and his wife Hukarere also opened the first kōhanga reo.
In recognition of all of this work, Mita Hikairo Mohi was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire for service to youth in 1995. He passed away in 2016.
"Every day is a learning day right to the day we die.” Mita Mohi, 2004
Values: humility, diligence, scholarship, identity
More to watch:
See a beautiful episode of Waka Huia about Mita Mohi:
More to read: