Anthony Pita

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Anthony Pita
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Born20 March 2003
North Shore, Auckland, New Zealand
NationalityNew Zealander
CitizenshipNew Zealand
Notable work
The Harder We Try

Anthony Pita (born 20 March 2003) is a New Zealand author. Born in Auckland, New Zealand, Pita published his first novel at 17-years-old while still attending high school, The Harder We Try.[1]

Early life

Pita was born on the North Shore, New Zealand, on March 20 2003. He grew up in the town of Devonport, New Zealand, where he attended St Leos' Catholic School until the age of ten, before going to Rosmini College for intermediate and secondary school education.[2]


In 2018, Pita was selected for the NZSA (New Zealand Society of Authors) Youth Mentoring Programme. Through sending in some examples of creative writing pieces he had been working on at home, he was one of only four young writers across the country selected for the programme. He was paired up with a well-known New Zealand fiction author, who worked with him for just under a year to develop his writing abilities. [3]

During the Covid-19 global pandemic, New Zealand went into a nationwide lockdown on 25 March 2020.[4] Pita, while balancing academics and personal life, wrote his first novella, The Harder We Try, with the first draft taking him just over a month. The Harder We Try is a coming-of-age, sports and NZ fiction novella set in Pita's home city of Auckland, about a Year 13 student called Louis who has recently recovered from cancer, and is chasing his dream of playing professional rugby.[5] Editing and formatting it himself, with the cover artwork designed by a friend, he worked with the Australian branch of international publishing firm Lulu to publish the first set, which were funded by pre-sales.[6] The book went on to be printed in multiple editions, sold copies in numerous countries in both Oceania and Europe, released with Barnes & Noble[7] and have an average rating of 5 stars on Goodreads, as of 14 February 2021.[8]The Harder We Try has been noted to have a strong personal voice, and to reflect the viewpoints of a teenager in modern New Zealand. With Pita being 17-years-old during the time of writing and publishing, this explains the strong identity of the main protagonist and first person narrator, Louis.

Pita has been reported to be interested in pursuing other forms of literature, including screenplay writing, songwriting and non-fiction, if the opportunity presents itself. Pita has stated his goal of working with his inspiration, New Zealand and Māori director/writer Taika Waititi.[9]

Personal life

Pita is of Māori people, affiliating to Ngātiwai through his father and Ngāti Ranginui through his mother. He is a strong advocate for promoting and supporting Māori education and art.

Pita was the first Dux, or top scholar, at Rosmini College of Māori descent. He achieved this in the same year as he wrote The Harder We Try. He also balanced this with teaching kapa haka at his former primary school.[10]


  1. 11678115. "27 November 2020 Rangitoto Observer". Issuu. Retrieved 2021-02-14.
  2. 11678115. "4 December 2020 Devonport Flagstaff". Issuu. Retrieved 2021-02-14.
  3. "Writing Mentorship Selection". Retrieved 2021-02-14.
  4. "History of the COVID-19 Alert System". Unite against COVID-19. Retrieved 2021-02-14.
  5. "Home". Mysite 1. Retrieved 2021-02-14.
  6. "Auckland rangatahi's extraordinary 2020: first-time author, kapa haka coach and school's first Māori dux". TVNZ. Retrieved 2021-02-14.
  7. Noble, Barnes &. "The Harder We Try|NOOK Book". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 2021-02-14.
  8. "The Harder We Try". Retrieved 2021-02-14.
  9. "Tauira find out NCEA results after 'unprecedent' year of disruption - YouTube". Retrieved 2021-02-14.
  10. "Extraordinary rangatahi becomes author, kapa haka coach and dux". Retrieved 2021-02-14.

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