MARAE: Taharua (Paeroa)
BIRTHPLACE: Paeroa (22 April 1939)
Biography | tuhinga koi ora
Mirth was born to Alma (nee Thwaites) and Eruini Taharua Te Moananui and her siblings were Eruini, Gloria, Roy, Elaine, Alvena, Jeanette, Alan, Michael, David and Dean.
Mirth was educated firstly at Paeroa primary school and Paeroa College where she participated in athletics, tennis, softball, basketball and netball. In 1956 Alma and Eruini sent Mirth to Queen Victoria School in Auckland, a place also heralding famous Maori sports women such as Ruia Morrison, June Mariu (nee Waititi), where she attended until 1957. From 1958-1959 Mirth enrolled at Auckland Teachers Training College where she completed her teaching degree and began her first teaching post at Pukekohe Maori School in 1960. From 1959-1960 Mirth represented Auckland in netball and in 1960 was selected as a non travelling reserve for the New Zealand Netball Team on tour in Australia.
In 1961 Mirth taught at Pukehina Primary School, Ohinepanea in the Bay of Plenty, then later that year, Mirth taught at Mamaku Primary School for four years. She later went on to teach Physical Education and Geography at Rotorua Girls High School in 1965, then Sunset Intermediate 1966-1968. In 1969 Kaitao Intermediate School was established and Mirth became a founding member of staff until retiring as Deputy Principal in 2005. While at Kaitao, Mirth taught alongside another sporting legend – Ruia Morrison and taught rugby greats – Hika Reid and Wayne Shelford.
Mirth met Te Rakumea Edward (Roger) Solomon in Rotorua and married in 1964. Roger was born in Rotorua to Te Rina (nee Hapi) and Arapeta (Albert) Solomon, both descendants of Ngati Kahungungu. They have two daughters, Kim and Catherine.
Achievements | tutukitanga
Thames Valley Senior Representative team (NZ Netball C grade)
Auckland Representative team U/21 1959
Auckland Senior Representative team (NZ Netball A grade) 1960
Rotorua Senior Representative team (NZ Netball A grade)
Whakarewarewa Netball (Rotorua)
Waikite Netball (Rotorua)
Former NZ Rep at the 1st and 2nd World Championships in England and Australia; 1962 Gained NZ selection trials; 1963 NZ Netball team V England; 1967 NZ Netball team V AustraliaH
Maori Sports Hall of Fame 2003
Multi serve for National Education
BOP services to Netball award
NZ Netball services to Netball award
BOP Netball services to Netball award
Life member Rotorua Netball