Te Arawa mourns the loss of treasured kaumātua Mita Mohi

Te Arawa is mourning the loss of yet another revered leader of the iwi, Mita Mohi - A mau rākau exponent, a well-respected kaumātua, a much-loved father, brother, koro and friend. 

He passed away peacefully on Sunday 20 November.

He is the third kaumātua from Te Arawa to die in just two weeks, with the deaths of Napi Waaka and Fred Whata.

Mohi (Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Rangiwewehi, Ngāti Tūwharetoa) was responsible for the establishment of the Mokoia Taiaha Wānanga in the 1990s. The wānanga was set up to train boys and men the art of using the taiaha.

He then travelled the breadth of Aotearoa, sharing his knowledge with various iwi who were eager to learn the traditional martial art. 

He also initiated a mau rākau programme that has been running in prisons around the country for over 20 years.

In 1982 Mohi and his late wife Hukarere opened the first kōhanga reo in Rotorua.

He was made a member of the Order of the British Empire for his service to youth in 1995.

His ongoing contribution was also recognised in 2012 at the Waiata Māori Music Awards when he received the Keeper of Traditions Award.

Mohi wasn't only known for his expertise in the cultural realm but he was also an exceptional sportsman. He played for the New Zealand Kiwis rugby league team in 1972 and was runner-up in the Aotearoa Maori Tennis Championships.

Mohi will be taken to Tarimano Marae at Te Awahou at 1pm Monday 21 November. His rā nehu has been confirmed for Thursday 24 November at 11am. He will then be taken to Puhirua urupā where he will be laid to rest.