Māori Leaders quotes and sayings

Māori Leaders quotes and sayings

As Michael King noted in his biography of Te Puea, the difficultly of writing about past and present Māori leaders is that there is very little written by them.

Transcribing radio and television interviews is also an issue. As broadcaster and author Alwyn Owen noted “Inevitably, oral accounts suffer in transcription. The character of the voice, such a telling factor in relating to a story, is of course, completely lost.

I have also found this to be true of inspirational things Māori leaders say. Some may counter that claim by saying that at all major hui on marae leaders stand kōrero and include feats by previous leaders, but this secludes the leaders accomplishments to the limited crowd of the marae and likely further still to the portion who speak Māori.

Having had the significant honor of working with many past and current Māori leaders and as with having many other Māori, I have many Māori leaders in my family and Iwi, often inspirational things are said by Māori leaders and they are not recorded in the same way we would with other leaders.

This is a list of some of the inspirational things Māori leaders have said or are published. I will continue to update this page and welcome additional material.

Arihia Bennet

  1. As I sat down to reflect on this year my initial thought was how quickly time has rushed by – is that a sign of aging, or is it that I have become so fixated on packing so many things into my life that I have created a new norm? Ngāi Tahu

Dr Apirana Mahuika

  1. Pakeha education is another preparation for leadership in the tribal situation, regardless of what they may achieve in the in the wider community. (1975) King, Michael. Te Ao hurihuri, the world moves on: aspects of Maoritanga.
  2. The educated rangatira provided the bridge between the traditional society and the new Pakeha one. (1975) King, Michael. Te Ao hurihuri, the world moves on: aspects of Maoritanga.
  3. The cliche that one size fits all does not apply to Maoridom. We are different from Iwi to Iwi.
  4. Scientists that write PHD thesis often need to get out of their ivory tower and come back and sit with us so that they can understand the real world of where the real science should be applied.

Atholl Anderson

  1. The claims process was an incubator for leadership. (2015). Kātene, Selwyn. Fire that Kindles Hearts. Steele Roberts Publishers.
  2. The benefit of the Waitangi Tribunal claims far outweighed the financial return. (2015). Kātene, Selwyn. Fire that Kindles Hearts. Steele Roberts Publishers.

Dame Ātairangikaahu

  1. If you can’t speak on behalf of your people why are you here? (in relation to representatives at hui) (2015). Kātene, Selwyn. Fire that Kindles Hearts. Steele Roberts Publishers.

Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi

  1. Maoridom at the moment is in a state of disarray. We’re so busy squabbling with each other that the collective contribution and the collective strength is dissipated because we’re too busy, in silo fashion, getting into this ‘how do we get more money. RadioNZ
  2. People say, ‘oh you’re a leader’, I think, ‘no’. It has never occured to me that I’m leading, but I can understand how it’s seen. I would rather stick it the other way – I’ve been led by the feedback I’ve got. So, if I’m seen to be leading, I’m leading according to a mandate, not necessarily to what I think – and I am not a strong thinker, naturally.  In a leadership role there are times when you have to make some hard decisions, I don’t shirk them, but I don’t see that as taking away from other people their potential. (2003) Diamond Paul. A Fire in your belly. Māori Leaders Speak.
  3. I ave never wanted to be he anchor for people. I have always wanted to be the person that can enable them. (2003) Diamond Paul. A Fire in your belly. Māori Leaders Speak.
  4. I get a bit hoha with this business of giving one whakapapa link priority over another when we have got so many. (2003) Diamond Paul. A Fire in your belly. Māori Leaders Speak.

Graham Hingangaroa Smith

  1. If your life has been too smooth and uneventful then you may be too accepting of the status quo. In this regards struggle is important and formative. It makes you think about what you’re for, as well as what you are against. People often just see what they are against, as opposed to being able to understand what is what it is they are struggling for and to change. Once we understand our struggle frm both of these perspectives it can be genuinely transferring.  (2015). Kātene, Selwyn. Fire that Kindles Hearts. Steele Roberts Publishers.
  2. The point is that all Māori academics need to be working for change. (2015). Kātene, Selwyn. Fire that Kindles Hearts. Steele Roberts Publishers.
  3. Māori leadership must enable the social, cultural, economic and political well being of Māori. (2015). Kātene, Selwyn. Fire that Kindles Hearts. Steele Roberts Publishers.
  4. Goof Māori leadership is responsive to the needs of our communities and iwi at large. (2015). Kātene, Selwyn. Fire that Kindles Hearts. Steele Roberts Publishers.
  5. Privatised academic: my criticism is that too many Māori and Indigenous academics are self-serving, engaged simply for their own personal outcomes. Being a Māori academic is more than just a whakapapa claim. (2015). Kātene, Selwyn. Fire that Kindles Hearts. Steele Roberts Publishers.
  6. Māori academics need to position themselves alongside thier iwi and communities. They have to guard against the seduction of elitism. An academic credential does not automatically confer leadership status.  (2015). Kātene, Selwyn. Fire that Kindles Hearts. Steele Roberts Publishers.

Hana O’Regan

  1. If we succeed in our goals, it will be our success. If we fail, it will be our own failure. We will own the path we travel, and we will shape our own dreams. We own our destiny. (2001) O’Regan Hana. Ko Tahu Ko Au. Horomaka Publishing.
  2. It is allright to be who we are as Kāi Tahu, and that just becuase we may possess cultural, physical or political differences, we are no less Māori because of it. (2001) O’Regan Hana. Ko Tahu Ko Au. Horomaka Publishing.

Irihapeti Ramsden

  1. Māori have until recently been passive consumers of a health service that they have had little input into. As yet Māori have little control over funding, policy and delivery of health service in the State sector. Many Māori would argue that this situation is in contravention of the promise of the second article to protect the “unqualified exercise of Māori chieftainship…over lands, villages, and all their treasures” Tino rangatiratanga guarantee has not been realised while Māori cannot gain autonomy in health service and become accountable to Māori.
  2. The skills of analysis will enable us to stop the process of becoming exotic in our own land. (1995) Toi Wahine The Worlds of Māori Women. Penguin Books.

John Rangihau

  1. I can’t go around saying because I’m Maori that Maoritanga means this and all Maori have to follow me. (1975) King, Michael. Te Ao hurihuri, the world moves on: aspects of Maoritanga.

Maharaia Winiata

  1. The traffic of ideas, values and customs today is mostly one way – from European to Maori. (1967) Maharaia Winiata. The changing role of the leader in Maori Society.
  2. Both Government and church purposely aim at assimilating Maori traditionalist society to the values and norms of European society and the hierarchy of leaders in both institutions are expected to carry out their specific policies.  (1967) Maharaia Winiata. The changing role of the leader in Maori Society.

Margie Maaka

  1. Māori and indigenous leadership is about the work being done and how leaders are preparing the next generation of leaders to accommodate the needs of our people. You can’t be an effective leader if yo don’t work with the community or understand them in their world.
  2. The Western institution’s definition of scholarship is about how many publications a professor has in obscure refereed journals with low acceptance rates that nobody ever read. For me, scholarship – in terms of indigenous or Māori – is about working with the communities we should be serving. (2015). Kātene, Selwyn. Fire that Kindles Hearts. Steele Roberts Publishers.

Miria Simpson

  1. Emailing someone in the same office is not communication (2001)

 

Moana Jackson

  1. Taking land at the point of a gun or a pen is exactly the same thing. (MaoriTV Waitangi Day 2017)

Paparangi Reid

  1. Like a boil-up of brisket, spuds and cabbage, its not really Māori kai, although it is food that becomes a reality for many Māori. With all the focus on our identity, perhaps we we confuse what makes a real Māori with what are common Māori realities. (1995) Toi Wahine The Worlds of Māori Women. Penguin Books.
  2. Among ourselves we call each other ‘plastic Māori, ‘potato’, ‘born again Māori’ or a ‘real Māori’. Well, I don’t know what about anyone else, but I need to know – who is a ‘real Māori’? Is it someone who speaks Māori as their first language? Is it someone brought up around the marae, or the Māori bureaucrat employed by the kāwanatanga? Maybe it’s characters in Alan Duff’s book, Once Were Warriors. How does a blue-eyed blond from Ngāti Whatever get on in Māori identity stakes? Is it, as they say in multi choice exam questions, all of the above? (1995) Toi Wahine The Worlds of Māori Women. Penguin Books.
  3. Perhaps we should look at all the Māori realities adn take the best from our quest for that mythcal beast, the real Māori. Be yourself, you’re real aren’t you? I am. (1995) Toi Wahine The Worlds of Māori Women. Penguin Books.

Piripi Walker

  1. Māori received the “rats and mice” from the post-auction FM frequency barrel, months after the auction.
  2. Māori didn’t write the Treaty nor initiate the migration and colonisation which necessitated it. They are entitled to cling to the contract their ancestors signed.

Linda Tuhiwai Smith

  1. In education we talk about whānau all the time, but to me it’s hpocritical to be writing about it and not practicing it. (2015). Kātene, Selwyn. Fire that Kindles Hearts. Steele Roberts Publishers.
  2. What i fear is that people will not carry on the work. The next generation have to pick up what the last generation have created, and do more work.  (2015). Kātene, Selwyn. Fire that Kindles Hearts. Steele Roberts Publishers.

Ngāpare Hopa

  1. The mamae that generations of our people have endured were never fogotten and for many of us are yet to be forgiven. (2015). Kātene, Selwyn. Fire that Kindles Hearts. Steele Roberts Publishers.
  2. At home I wondered what to do next and ow my background and my passion for education could help our people. (2015). Kātene, Selwyn. Fire that Kindles Hearts. Steele Roberts Publishers.
  3. I have had a long, interesting, varied and enjoyable career, but there are many tasks still to tackle and battles to win. (2015). Kātene, Selwyn. Fire that Kindles Hearts. Steele Roberts Publishers.

Parekura Horomia

  1. Kia ora Chief!

 

Ron Mark

  1. If you are going to get upset that someone is going to ring your home at 930pm on a Sunday, then don’t be an MP. The Political Game Māori TV.
  2. If you are going to get upset because someone walks up to your dinner table when you are trying to have a meal at a restaurant, sits down beside you and says I need to talk to you: If that upsets you then don’t be an MP. The Political Game Māori TV.

Sacha McMeeking

  1. Tā Tipene’s generation landed the Ngāi Tahu Settlement, and then it was the job of the next generation to manage that settlement. Now the tribe is wealthy and is rebuilding its culture. It is important that the tribe continues to hold conversations around leadership and succession. Ngāi Tahu web site.
  2. Māori leaders in the 21st century have to be connected both technologically and with people, and they will often face global challenges, not challenges unique to Māoridom.

Shane Jones

  1. Valedictory Statement is in the link at the end. Paraphrasing: Shane Jones speaks of being at a dinner with the Prime Minister and others and Condoleezza Rice the USA Secretary of State. Within 8 hours he picked up a hitchhiker who had just been released from prison… If there was ever an incident within a short period of time that made me feel humble as a Māori parliamentarian and a junior Minister, that was it—to go from that level of power and influence, and still to have the confidence to relate to one of my own rangatahi on the other side of the tracks, so to speak.  here.

Sir Apirana Ngata

  1. It is because of the influence of the pressures of the time that the thoughts return to the real purpose which we have brought forth through the years – it was the survival of our people in this world. (1988) Sorrenson,M. Na to hoa Aroha. Volume Three.

Sir Mason Durie

  1. Māori academics have two major challenges: to be great academics judged by worldwide standards, and to be relevant to Māori. (2015). Kātene, Selwyn. Fire that Kindles Hearts. Steele Roberts Publishers.

Sir Peter Buck/Te Rangi Hiroa

  1. Look after your body so that there will be a long time for us to examine the deeds of the Pakeha. (1988) Sorrenson,M. Na to hoa Aroha. Volume Three.

Sir Pita Sharples

  1. If you don’t dream, you’re not alive.
  2. It stands for discipline and hard work, and it encompasses our deepest customs; it is our identity. It’s the glamour weapon, if you like, of Māori weapons. What is important is that the customs associated with the weapon, which were the way of life for my people, are preserved and available, to empower New Zealanders. (on the Taiaha)
  3. By creating success in our own initiatives we’re going to lift ourselves up

Sir Wira Gardiner

  1. When I finished my first book I wanted to find my English teacher from high school who told me at the age of 15 that I should leave and go an work on the railway because that is about my limit of capacity. RadioNZ
  2. When we built our house in Ruatoria we built the library first then the rooms for humans. RadioNZ
  3. I would describe myself in terms of achievement as more of a tortuous than a hare. I’m steady, plodding and keep on going while everyone else is having a rest. Think that is pretty much how i got to where I am now. RadioNZ

Tā James Hēnare

  1. The language is the life force of the mana Māori. The word is the life force of the language. These two ideas are absolutely crucial to the Māori language. A language, which is a gift to us from God. Source.
  2. You have come to far not to go further; you have done too much, not to do more.
  3. It is preposterous that any Māori should aspire to become a poor Pākehā, when their true destiny, prescribed by the creator, is to become a great Māori.
  4. It is preposterous that any Māori should aspire to become a poor pākehā, when their true destiny, prescribed by the Creator, is to become a great Māori

Tā Mark Solomon

  1. My dream for our people is simple: to be culturally strong, healthy and happy. Ngāi Tahu web site.
  2. Māori abuse of children was a learned behavior and was not traditional. 2010 Jigsaw National Conference.
  3. I want to mihi to my relations, particularly the complainants, who are some of the bravest people I know. Ngāi Tahu
  4. Kia ora my mate; Kia ora my cousin. (A popular form of address for Tā Mark)

Tā Tipene O’Regan

  1. Lawyers could be the new muskets. In reference to settling raruraru without tikanga (2016).
  2. Myth is the only reality.
  3. There is no point having lots of light if you don’t have a dark to put it in.
  4. The notion at stake is the Treaty right to development, something Māori fought hard for and is now being overridden.
  5. Until we are our own owners, we are denying the rangatira that our tūpuna placed upon us to protect or recover. (2001) O’Regan Hana. Ko Tahu Ko Au. Horomaka Publishing.
  6. We have to strengthen the confidence of the flax-roots people. If they are strong, the people are strong. If the cooks are happy the marae is happy. (2001) O’Regan Hana. Ko Tahu Ko Au. Horomaka Publishing.
  7. If you were to ask me about the nature of leadership, in terms of what I’ve learnt, I’d say you’ve got to have a fire in your belly for an outcome. (2003) Diamond Paul. A Fire in your belly. Māori Leaders Speak.
  8. One of the important things about rangatiratanga is the freedom to go broke. (2003) Diamond Paul. A Fire in your belly. Māori Leaders Speak.
  9. After a time, it gets a bit demanding, not just in physical terms, but also mentally – you have to be tough. (in relation to Māori leaders) (2003) Diamond Paul. A Fire in your belly. Māori Leaders Speak.
  10.  I once described myself as Ngāi Tahu’s Lampton Quay ‘rent a mouth’. (2003) Diamond Paul. A Fire in your belly. Māori Leaders Speak.
  11. I think I am now at the point where I have to rest a bit. (2003) Diamond Paul. A Fire in your belly. Māori Leaders Speak.
  12. To some extent, your career is what you make of it. (2003) Diamond Paul. A Fire in your belly. Māori Leaders Speak.
  13. Any process of leadership is a process, to some extent, of teaching, trying to get the issues into a simple form that people can comprehend. (2003) Diamond Paul. A Fire in your belly. Māori Leaders Speak.
  14. Opportunities come and when they’re gone, they’re gone – very seldom do they reappear. (2003) Diamond Paul. A Fire in your belly. Māori Leaders Speak.
  15. I don’t see a huge amount of highlights in my life. (2003) Diamond Paul. A Fire in your belly. Māori Leaders Speak.
  16. I have to say Ngai Tahu have, at last, got their heads out of the swamp, but we’re still standing in the swamp. In relation to a comment that “Ngai Tahu have been causing problems ever since they stuck their heads out of the swamp to see if Te Rauparaha has gone. (2003) Diamond Paul. A Fire in your belly. Māori Leaders Speak.

Te Puea

  1. When my life is written I want the truth told and nothing but the truth.

Timoti Karetu

  1. There is an apathy and a torpor pervading the whole of the Māori world, and the language is its victim. NZ Herald.

Tuhipo Kereopa

  1. That was my first protest, and I remember many of our relations in the village being so angry at us. How dare we disrupt the peace!” In relation to the Rotorua District Council tried to take ownership of the roads in Ohinemutu. Source.
  2. I was in shock but once I started to understand how we had been colonised and the large part the churches had played in that, I started to get really, really angry. That’s why I went on most of the marches – to try and get that anger out! Source.
  3. My family honestly thought I had gone mad. But I knew too much by then to even care what other people thought. Source.

Tukuroirangi Morgan

  1. Maori economic development is about people & how they manage their assets & care for their people. Via Twitter @TraciHoupapa

Wally Penetito

  1. You’re going to be a better person for what you do by working with people who are better than you are at academic work… It’s having that idea there of somebody setting a standard for you, pushing you through it and pulling you along into it. (2015). Kātene, Selwyn. Fire that Kindles Hearts. Steele Roberts Publishers.
  2. It’s one of those things as Māori you don’t have a choice about, you get on with it and do the best you can with it. (2015). Kātene, Selwyn. Fire that Kindles Hearts. Steele Roberts Publishers.
  3. It’s not what Māori are doing for society but what Pākehā are doing about things Māori.

 Whina Cooper

  1. Not one more acre of Māori land

 

 

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