Nga mihi o te wa e hoa. He rangi paki kei waho, no reira he rangi ataahua, ahakoa te makariri. He pai rawa atu ki te koreroreo ano i runga i tenei hotaka – Maui mu. Tau ke!

Tenei e mihi kau ana ki nga kaiwhakarongo. Ko te tumanako kei te ora ake tonu koutou! Ko te kaupapa matua, ko te mana wahine me nga wahine toa. Ko te korero mo tenei marama, Paengawhawha, na Te Puea Herangi. Ki au nei, he tika tana korero mo tatou – ahakoa ko wai, ahakoa no whea?

Anei tana korero ~

“Mehemea ka moemoea ahau ko ahau anake. Mehemea ka moemoea tatou, ka taea tataou.”

What this korero means for me within the context of leadership is this – Great leaders do not lead by themselves but with others making it possible to achieve great things.

You only have to look at Te Puea’s many achievements to understand this whakatauki. One such achievement is the establishment of Turangawaewae marae in Ngaruawahia.

Actually, last week I returned home to the Waikato to attend the Ngati Mahanga poukai at Te Papa-o-rotu. I stayed with my sister in Raglan. I’m reminded of another great wahine toa, Eva Rickard and what she achieved in fighting for the return of the golf course land to the people.

Both these wahine toa lead to great causes and were seen as activists. Maori leaders are often activists. They activate a vision; they activate ideas and they activate people.

So, what does this mean for me and you? We may not see ourselves as activists or bringing about big social changes.

My advice is to start where you are, with what you have. That is enough. On one level this is about envisioning a better life for you and your whanau. And when others see you achieving your dreams and goals it shows them that they can also achieve their dreams and goals.

This is not just about dreaming and also about achieving.

This is about you leading yourself first and then showing others that they can also lead if they choose.

Te Puea’s korero incorporates the principle of Whakamana. The principle of Whakamana has two inter-linked concepts: Whaka – meaning to cause something to happen; to change and effect change.

When joined with Mana it is about fully understanding the true potential of a person by encouraging the ‘strengthening of their own prestige, authority, control, power, influence, status, self-esteem, spiritual power, and charisma’.

It’s about your own journey of self-discovery and supporting those that want to learn and follow. It’s not about ‘fixing others”. If I can do it, so can you.

For me whakamana highlights words like encouragement, inspiring and instilling confidence to dream and achieve.

Let me remind you about the iWahine Leadership Hui on 25 & 26 October 2017 in Wellington. I’m super excited about it. It’s going to have some fabulous wahine speaking. We’ve listened to what our wahine have told us – who they want to hear and it’s a real mix of wahine. It’s not just those in “national or recognised roles”. They wanted to also hear from wahine in the community, our unsung heros.

I can confirm some of the speakers:

  • Precious Clark, Ngati Whatua and Waikato. Precious was conceived during the occupation at Bastion Point or Takaparawha. She performed the karanga at the Rugby World Cup Opening Ceremony and is also featured on the POI Hopes and Dreams Web series. A qualified lawyer her passion is Maori development and mana wahine.
  • Mate Heitia, founder and chair of Reka Trust based in Whakatane. Provides community education and development on holistic wellness through healthy kai from the whenua, moana, awa and roto. They also do research on food security and sovereignty.


I go back to our initial korero –

Mehemea ka moemoea ahau ko ahau anake. Mehemea ka moemoea tatou, ka taea tataou.

Here are two wahine toa living their dreams and in doing so, they are clearing the way for other wahine to come through.

So, I urge you, if you’re listening to come along to our iWahine Leadership Hui to be inspired and mix with like-minded wahine. Invest in yourself wahine ma.

Go to iWahine NZ website to sign up for hui updates.

There will be a one-off one day special next month. The panui will only go out to those that have signed up.

Also, just another plug – I’m speaking at the Women in Governance Conference in Auckland next month, mostly Pakeha women but I’d like to encourage wahine Maori to go along. The theme is creating your pathway to the boardroom. My kaupapa is “Finding our turangawaewae”. We need more wahine Maori in governance and other areas.


No reira koutou, e whakarongo mai ana, kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui!


Ki a koe e te tuakana, tenei ahau e mihi mahana atu. Pai marire ki a tatou katoa!