Takuta was born at Ruatoki, the son of Hohapata and Puru Tamehana Takuta. He was sent as a tamaiti whangai to Takuta Kerekere as a young child. Kerekere was an expert in traditional knowledge and a tohunga (priest) of the Ringatu church in the district, and the young Tio was taught by him.
He attended school periodically for four years, when he stopped in order to concentrate on traditional studies. He started farming in the Hawkes Bay region in 1932, but joined the Army in 1942. After the war he returned to farming and married (they had six children). He rekindled his interest in the traditional knowledge, genealogy and current affairs of the Tuhoe and Rongowhakaata tribes, which led eventually to him being appointed kaumatua (traditional elder) and honorary professor in two departments of Victoria University of Wellington.
He was also active in conservation matters and was an adviser to the East Coast Conservancy district.
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