Mita Mohi

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Mita Mohi
Personal information
Full name Mita Hikairo Mohi[1]
Born 1938/1939 (age 75–76)[2]
New Zealand
Playing information
Position Prop
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1960–64 Marist-Western
1965 Papanui
1966–74 Marist-Western
1975–77 Riccarton
Total 0 0 0 0 0
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1960–73 Canterbury 42
1962–72 New Zealand Māori 2
1962–63 South Island 4
1972 New Zealand 1 0 0 0 0
1968 Southern Zone 1
Coaching information
Years Team Gms W D L W%
1977 Riccarton
Source: [3]

Mita Hikairo Mohi MBE JP (born 1938/1939) is a New Zealand exponent and teacher of the art of traditional Māori weaponry and a former rugby league player who represented his country at the 1972 World Cup.

Early life[edit]

Mohi was born c.1939 of Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Rangiwewehi and Ngāti Tūwharetoa descent. As a child he learned the use of the taiaha from his father.[4] Mohi's early working life was spent as a train driver for New Zealand Railways.[5]

Rugby league career[edit]

Mohi played for the Marist-Western club in the Canterbury Rugby League competition. He represented Canterbury, New Zealand Māori, the Southern Zone and the South Island. In 1962 Mohi was part of the Canterbury side that defeated Auckland 16–13 to win the Northern Union Cup.[6]

Mohi was selected for the New Zealand Kiwis squad in the 1972 World Cup. His first, and only, test match was against France. Mohi injured his calf muscle while performing the haka and had to be replaced.[7] Mohi also played in two other games for New Zealand while in Britain.[8]

He moved to the Riccarton club in 1975 and spent three years at the club, the last as player-coach.[8]

Mau rākau[edit]

In the late 1970s, Mohi began teaching the art of traditional Māori weaponry, mau rākau, and established the Mokoia taiaha wānanga to train boys and men in the art of using the taiaha. He has also run taiaha wānanga throughout New Zealand[9][10] and has developed a mau rakau programme that has run in New Zealand prisons since the early 1990s.[11]

Other activities[edit]

Mohi was also a professional wrestler for a time and was prominent in national Māori tennis,[8] including a second placing in the Aotearoa Māori tennis championships.[5] He worked as a lecturer at Waiariki Polytechnic and served as a member of the New Zealand Parole Board[5] and a justice of the peace.[12]

In 1982, Mohi and his wife Hukarere opened the first kōhanga reo in Rotorua, following the birth of their first grandchild.[13]


In the 1995 New Year Honours, Mohi was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire for service to youth.[12] With his wife, Mohi received a Rotorua District Council community award for voluntary services in 2007.[13] He was recognised for his longstanding and ongoing contribution to mau rākau at the 2012 National Waiata Māori Music Awards, where he received the Keeper of Traditions Award,[5][14] and the 2012 Te Waka Toi Awards, where he was awarded the Ngā Tohu o Tā Kīngi Īhaka (Sir Kīngi Īhaka award).[9]


  1. ^ "Mohi, Mita Hikairo (1972) #501". Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  2. ^ "Taiaha used to instill pride". Nelson Mail. 15 July 1997. p. 3. 
  3. ^ "Mita Mohi – career stats & summary". Rugby League project. 11 December 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  4. ^ "Taiaha course changes lives of young men". Nelson Mail. 15 December 1998. p. 3. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Mita Hikairoa Mita". 3 September 2012. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  6. ^ Smith, Tony (30 May 2009). "Nothing better than bettering Auckland". The Press. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  7. ^ "Top ten unusual injuries with a Kiwi flavour". Archived from the original on 23 July 2012. Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c Coffey, John (1987). Canterbury XIII: a rugby league history. Christchurch: Canterbury Rugby Football League. ISBN 0473004518. 
  9. ^ a b Bateson, Sonya (4 September). "Kaumatua honoured for skill with taiaha". Rotorua Daily Post. Retrieved 29 April 2014.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  10. ^ Keene, Howard (26 October 1996). "Taiaha hui targets boys". The Press. p. 4. 
  11. ^ "Mita Mohi and Billy Karaitiana celebrated for their contributions". September 2012. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  12. ^ a b The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 53894. p. 34. 31 December 1994. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  13. ^ a b Martin, Matthew (25 April 2007). "Modest pair surprised by achievements". Rotorua Daily Post. Retrieved 269 April 2014.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  14. ^ "Waiata Māori awards – 2012 winners". Waiata Māori Awards. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 

External links[edit]