Whakaaratia tāu e wawata ai koe ki tōna taumata tika
Pursue that to which you aspire to, to new heights
Dr Irihapeti Ramsden of Ngai Tahupotiki and Rangitāne is perhaps best known in Aotearoa and internationally for the development of cultural safety. Tired of the cliché of Māori as warriors, as a reference to the novel 'Once were warriors', she declared "Once were gardeners, once were astronomers, once were philosophers, once were lovers". Irihapeti also stated that "There are three kinds of people; those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who never knew what hit them". Irihapeti was a woman who lived life in the first category, by making things happen.
We could learn from the many examples that Irihapeti has shown throughout her life. By recognizing that we are capable of many things if we put our minds to it, such as a philosopher, an astronomer as our people did in their day. As you relax and enjoy in the Christmas spirit with whānau and loved ones, reflect on where your destiny is leading you. Not by sitting by and watching it happen in front of you, but by leading by example and taking your own destiny into your hands and making it happen. Kia pai tō wiki!
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Tū ora, tū kaha, tū mana, tū Māori
Be healthy, be fit, be proud, be Māori
June Mariu CNZM, QSM, JP has long represented Māori aspirations, having been national president of the Māori Women's Welfare League, chairwoman of Te Whānau o Waipareira and a member of the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission. The long-time physical education teacher at Rutherford College who represented New Zealand in netball, softball and basketball, and tireless community stalwart in Auckland, had a lot of aroha, humbleness and that remarkable quality of serenity in leadership.
Te Ao Māori depends so much on its leaders being everything. They have a disproportionate effect in the lives of many people, and on the events of the world around them. Leaders, like June, make names for themselves because they do something with their lives by being great role models. Action women with a calming influence and a firm resolve to get things done, without undue fuss, commands the respect of others. Having the ability to get people to do things, even when they don't want to, but in the end they like it, is indeed, a gift worth being proud of. Kia pai tō wiki!
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Waiho i te toipoto, kaua i te toiroa
Let us keep close together, not wide apart
Harry Dansey MBE (1920-1979) of Ngāti Tuwharetoa and Te Arawa; a prominent journalist, writer, local politician, and second race relations conciliator who perhaps best summed up his ideal for racial harmony in the concluding lines of his poem, 'The divided heart', written in 1970:
We would not choose to tell apart
The things we love by race or clime
For they are one within the heart;
And equal joy in them we take
That in this place by chance are set
Tall kauri of Waitákere
Or oak and elm of Somerset.
Although we are many and varied, when taken as a whole, the rich diversity of views we possess can work in harmony when pointed toward a common goal. It may sound like utopia, but each of us has its own character, its own unique strengths and shared sense of belonging that make this place, Aotearoa, distinctive. Different views, perspectives, and methods - all of these make us stronger and more respectful of one another. Let's make certain that we make the most of our varied parts - for the whole truly can be more powerful than just the sum of its parts. Kia pai tō wiki!
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E kore te kūmara e kī ake ki a ia he māngaro
The kumara does not announce it is tasty
(A person should not blow his own horn)
'E tama, hei aha!' (son, never mind), was the brief reply of a semi-retired humble general practitioner, Dr Edward Pohau Ellison MB ChB, OBE, to young Reverend Kingi Ihaka's request that during his lifetime an account of his life and work be published. Dr Ned Ellison (1884-1963), of Ngai Tahu, the fourth Māori medical graduate, had an illustrious career that included being chief medical officer of the Cook Islands and director of the division of Māori hygiene in New Zealand's Department of Public Health.
Our culture says that humility is a virtue. Have you ever wondered though what it meant to be humble and modest? Today, these are things that are undervalued. Most people have forgotten them. They have begun to rate themselves, their needs, and their feelings, as more significant than anyone else's. In fact, for many, their lives literally revolve around them. People watch you no matter what you do, especially if you're good at what you do. So, if you're going to be an example for others to follow, you might as well be a positive role model. Let your actions speak volumes for the person you are. Kia pai tō wiki!
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He aha te mea nui o te ao?
He Tangata, he tangata, he tangata
What is the most important thing in the world?
It is people! It is people! It is people!
Judge Mick Brown LLD, of Ngāti Kahu, a legendary lawyer and advocate, made a wonderful contribution as a District Court Judge. He was one of the first Principal Youth Court Judges, and a former Chancellor of Auckland University. From humble beginnings, it was his pioneering approach to judging, that led to new and innovative procedures in law, including influencing change to make the defendant the most important person for whom everyone's attention needed to be focused.
From the moment the initial contact happens, whether it be a student, colleague, or client who walks in the door, calls you on the phone, or seeks your advice, you have to treat that person as if he or she is the most important person in your world. It's about showing respect, learning what is needed, and then actively working to fulfill those needs. To sustain such a relationship, we have to practice a win-win situation in all we do – we have to give more value than we get. It will work to your advantage in the long run. It's a great gift when we can put others' needs before ourselves, and in so doing become better people, more responsive, and in tune with our surroundings. Kia pai tō wiki!
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He manga-ā-wai, koia, kia kāore e whitikia?
Is it a river that cannot be crossed?
(Implying every river can be crossed in one way or another)
Associate Professor Jo Baxter of the Otago School of Medicine commenced her MANU AO seminar last Wednesday by paying tribute to her former teacher at Queen Charlotte College in Marlborough, Dr Monte Ohia, "who said to me you could do anything you wanted to ...and so I became a doctor". The Māori educationist, and academic, was a man of unstinting dedication and enormous wairua, who was an inspiration to many other students as well.
Of course, Monte was right. If you put your mind to it, you can do anything. You've got to have confidence in yourself. Why confidence? Because unless you believe you can do it, you're unlikely ever to try. We earn self-confidence by excelling at the little things, until we're ready to take on the bigger challenges. Get some runs on the board, and try a few little challenges first. They will help prepare you for life's stiffer tests and they're something each of us has the power to achieve, no matter what our circumstances may be. You can make the most of whatever you are given, if you work hard at it, and keep a positive approach to every circumstance that comes your way. Kia pai tō wiki!
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Ahakoa he iti te matakahi, ka pakaru i a ia te totara
Although the wedge is small it overcomes the totara –
A little effort properly applied can achieve great results
Remembered as one of the first Māori leader's to negotiate a Treaty of Waitangi settlement with the Crown as chief negotiator for Tainui in 1995, the Waikato academic, Dr Robert Te Kotahi Mahuta was honoured two years later with a knighthood at Turangawaewae Marae, which was also the 31st anniversary of the crowning of the Māori Queen, Dame Te Atairangikaahu. It was on that auspicious occasion that Sir Robert laid down a challenge to his Tainui people to double the amount of their Waikato land every generation. They are well underway to achieving that aspiration and more.
There are many of us toiling in communities large and small trying to make a difference because we learnt the value of service and hard work from leaders like Sir Robert. In our daily lives, it's easy to get bogged down. The circumstances surrounding us tend to intrude into our otherwise orderly lives. That's the time when we need to double our efforts, because when we're bogged down, the best way out of our difficulty could be to push through it, to push all the stronger. It's not always the easiest thing to do, but most of the time, it's the best way to proceed to achieve great results. Kia pai tō wiki!
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Whāia te iti kahurangi, ki te tuohu koe me maunga teitei
Pursue that which is precious, and do not be deterred
by anything less than a lofty mountain
Dame Mira Szászy, of Ngāti Kuri, was one of the most outstanding Māori women leaders of the 20th century. She was the first Māori woman to graduate with a degree from Auckland University, and she was also president of the Māori Women's Welfare League. A champion for the rights of Māori especially Māori women, she once said, "I don't believe that giving women their rights as human beings is a destructive thing. I think it's a very positive thing and I believe that the liberation of every human being is part of the development of human society as a whole."
There's something exciting about this year's Commonwealth Games for all of us. We learn from the Games that each of us can demand the best from ourselves, and that others will care about us when they feel we are trying to excel. We also learn that when confronted by obstacles we can put ourselves back on the path towards success, by leaving those troubles behind us. Our victorious netball team achieved gold, the pinnacle of human performance at the Games. This kind of progress only happens when people exact the best from themselves. That's what champions are made of. Like Mira, demand the best from yourself, and notice the difference you can make. Kia pai tō wiki!
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Nōku te tūranga, nō koutou te mana
Mine is the position, yours is the prestige
John Te Rangianiwaniwa Rangihau (BEM), Māori welfare officer, university lecturer, and consultant on Māori affairs made a lasting intellectual contribution to the cultural and social renaissance of Māori with the release in 1986 of his seminal DSW report, Puao-te-ata-tu. This highly respected Tuhoe leader considered "mana is when you know something has to change, and you are able to change it - that's mana."
Mana is earned by the actions you take every day, and that's a credo worth remembering. What can we learn from John Rangihau? It's just this – address your challenges head on, stand up for what you believe, do not compromise your values, and do what you believe to be right and correct especially when major change is needed. In Puao-te-ata-tu, Te Rangihau and others argued that institutionalised racism existed in the department of social welfare, as it did throughout NZ's institutions, and that the nation was facing a major social crisis unless things changed. It took courageous leadership, inspired movements, visionary paths – all these things are the marks of a true leader – and they should be your marks as well. Kia pai tō wiki!
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He toi whakairo, he mana tangata
Where there is artistic excellence, there is human dignity
Parihaka recently hosted the annual hui-ā-tau for Te Ora (Māori Medical Practitioners) at which mention was made of Jacqui Papuni Sturm – the first Māori writer to write in English and the first Māori woman to graduate with a Masters Degree. Born and breed in Opunake, Taranaki her initial interest in medicine was evident in her poetry eg, 'In Loco Parentis' where she referred to the impact of being cared for, and the tug of her being tangata whenua: "Planted, nurtured, trained, pruned, grafted me; only to find a native plant will always a native be".
That great quality – manaakitanga, is what makes us who we are. Having a nurturing, fostering, caring attitude is something that should be inherent in all of us, as Māori. It's about us as people - our feelings, thoughts, actions and our relationships with others. It involves acting when people ask for help, but not doing it for them; paying attention to what's required of us; and doing the right thing, in the right way, when asked. In so doing, we reinforce and exemplify what Jacqui Sturm wrote about and through those deeds and actions, surely, will always a native be. Kia pai tō wiki!
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Kia puta ki te whai ao ki te ao mārama
From the world of darkness moving into the world of light
Associate Professor Papaarangi Reid, of Te Rarawa and Head of Department of Māori Health at the University of Auckland, whose research interests include analysing disparities between Māori and non-Māori, believes "the single most important thing that needs to be addressed in public health is a change of attitude toward what is regarded as 'Māori problems' by non-Māori". She makes a point that it is important "for all cultures to resist people trying to make us into museum exhibits of past behaviours".
We know lives can be changed by simply changing one's attitude. It is a way of responding to our environment that is derived mostly from generalizing about others and the system. We adopt and express a certain attitude in order to preserve ourselves from "harm" or to maintain a preferred status quo. After all, we are complex, challenging and developing - as is our individual right. We should make it a habit to practice looking for the good in seemingly bad events. You'll be amazed how often something you thought was bad actually turns out to be good and possibly the best thing that ever happened to you. Kia pai tō wiki!
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Ka pu te ruha, ka hao te rangatahi
The old net is cast aside, the new net goes fishing
Sir Maui Pomare KBE, CMG (1875–1930), of Ngāti Mutunga and Ngāti Toa, health reformer and our first Māori medical doctor, was known for his efforts to improve Māori health and living conditions. He was also a formidable politician and member of the Young Māori Party. In his capacity as a politician he urged Māori people to embrace education saying, the tide of wisdom and progress is sweeping on and we must go with it. Education is to be the future paddle for our canoe. If we do not take advantage of what is before us we will be swept into oblivion. This is the history of the world. The day has dawned!
That clarion call is still highly relevant today, and for future generations. We know, education has an immense impact on Māori society – from the young to those older. As a basic human right, it gives us the knowledge of the world around us and is important because it equips us with all that is needed to make our dreams come true. But no matter what, education is also the key that will allow our rangatahi in particular to move up in the world, seek better jobs and ultimately succeed fully in life. Kia pai tō wiki!
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Ma pango, ma whero ka oti te mahi
By black and red together, the work is done
The Kingitanga's Princess Te Puea Herangi of Tainui was raised and educated in Māori beliefs, values, and culture. She is remembered for the remarkable contribution she made to both her own people of Waikato and to Māoridom which spanned the period of time where her people bore the effects of events such as the influenza epidemic, and conscription. The popular leader once said, "If I am to dream I dream alone. If we all dream together then we shall achieve..."
Life is a journey - from where we are now, to where we want to be. Don't let your goals and resolutions fall by the wayside. Like Princess Te Puea we can make a difference by working together. Chances are that to achieve our dreams and live a life we love, those goals and resolutions are crucial. Often a change in character is required to ensure congruency with our goals and intentions. Any character building we accomplish now can serve us well indefinitely. Remember qualities like co-operation, resourcefulness and courage can pay dividends across all areas of our lives. Dream the dream, and lets all achieve. Kia pai tō wiki!
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He aroha whakatō, he aroha puta mai
If kindness is sown, then kindness you shall receive
Professor Ngapare Hopa, of Tainui and Tuwharetoa, the first Māori woman to receive a doctorate from Oxford University, and former Head of Department of Māori Studies at the University of Auckland says of her fellow academics, "we need to become our tribe's future academic community - the intellectual engine for leadership, growth, and development".
A community of scholars can make a meaningful contribution by putting into practice important shared values, and can provide for strong creative leadership, for intelligent thought, reason, critical and analytical reasoning that supports whānau, hapū and iwi long into the future. One of the great underlying principles governing our lives today is the joy that comes from being of service to others. Most of us have to work, but whom do we serve? Do we work for a living, and for the benefit of others? Or do we merely work for ourselves, in order to make a living? It's a truism - finding one's self, begins with first losing one's self in the service of whānau, hapū and iwi. Kia pai tō wiki!
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Ahakoa ngā uaua
Kia kaha, kia toa, kia manawanui
When you find things that are difficult in life,
Stand strong, stand tall and be of great heart
This past week Ngā Kaitatau Māori o Aotearoa (National Māori Accountants Network) held their AGM in Palmerston North. Rob McLeod of Ngāti Porou is one of NZ's leading accountants. The new Managing Partner of accounting firm Ernst & Young for both Australia and NZ, chair of the NZ Business Roundtable, and tax expert says "I'm certainly the first Māori to run a big accounting firm in Australia". Having got the job "because I am the best qualified" Rob considers "my reputation has been of not stuffing things up".
It is not uncommon though to stuff things up and make mistakes. It's just human nature - but sometimes it stands in the way of our progress. Often when things go wrong, we make it worse by failing to fix the problem quickly and with good grace. We need to be realistic about what we do, and how we do it. We have to get to the point where we know our abilities better than anyone - and then work to maximize our successes so they far outweigh our failures. What should happen when you stuff things up is this: you take your knocks, you learn your lessons, and then you move on. Kia pai tō wiki!
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Ma muri ka tika a mua
Learn from the past to prepare for the future
A lasting legacy of the first Māori Minister of Native Affairs (1899) and Acting Prime Minister of New Zealand in 1909 and 1911, Sir James Carroll, of Ngāti Kahungunu, was fighting a lone battle to 'stonewall' the wholesale alienation of Māori lands, so Māori would be able to develop their lands, and move on to great things. His view was "You must turn over the pages of the past; you must open a new page for the things of to-day and to-morrow". From this great Māori leader as well as mentors for others who followed in his footsteps, we can learn from the lessons of the past, prepare and plan for the future, but take advantage of the opportunities to live life to the full in the present.
The beginning of another chapter in our lives, or even another day brings us much excitement because at this point, we can actually feel that we have the chance to open a new page and start afresh. This fills us with a sense of joy because it makes us realize that we have an abundant supply of renewed hope... that we have endless opportunities to begin again. Thus, we find the courage to accept our past disappointments, to look ahead... and move on. Kia pai tō wiki!
Tihei Mauriora - James Carroll Download this message in PDF!
I te kōpara, kai tākirikiri ana i runga i te kahikatea
Although the bellbird is small, it plucks at the kahikatea
An insignificant position does not prevent one from having lofty aspirations)
Auckland University's Professor of Māori Studies, Margaret Mutu, says, "We have a number of very successful Māori individuals who keep a very low profile and go about helping others quietly. They're a significant force, and I hope the day will come when these individuals will be proud to stand up as successful Māori". You can choose to reach your full potential and be successful. It is in your hands.
Where you end up at in life is largely determined by your own self-image and self-esteem. If you're not happy with your life, you have subconsciously chosen this. Not that one chooses to be unhappy, but every decision you've made has led you to where you are right now. Consider your potential. What things are you good at doing? How can you make your life a success? What are your dreams and goals? Even the best possible goals in life are difficult to achieve, but not quite impossible. Brace yourself to feel the pain, in order to gain. Be focused and start living the life of your dreams. Kia pai tō wiki!
Tihei Mauriora - Margaret Mutu Download this message in PDF!
He aha te mea nui o te ao?
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata
What is the most important thing in the world?
It is people, it is people, it is people
Reflecting back on her childhood in Ruatahuna, international educationalist, Dr Rangimarie Turuki Rose Pere says, "many of our families had very few material possessions, and were denied so many of the luxuries we enjoy today, and yet what I remember most vividly was the ring of laughter, song and music, the obvious happiness we shared as a people, because of the abundance of aroha – goodwill". Holder of the NZCM in 1990 and honoured with an OBE in 1996, the same year she attained a Doctorate of Literature at Victoria University Wellington, Dr Pere, further stated that "there was a deep appreciation and respect for the human element, above all things".
Rose Pere's thoughts remind us of how important and valuable we all are. We have to learn and train ourselves to carefully avoid those who hinder our progress and instead link up with helpful people with good attitudes and behaviours. We should learn from everyone we come in contact with. Our outlook towards others should be positive and encouraging. First, look for the best in yourself - and keep doing it. Kia pai tō wiki!
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Mauri mahi, mauri ora; mauri noho, mauri mate
Hard work begets prosperity (security); idleness begets poverty (insecurity)
In the aftermath of last week's Māori Language Week, Māori Language Commission Chairman, Erima Henare, stated categorically that the language is still in a perilous state. Out of a population of 565,000 Māori, there are only 18,000 fluent speakers. It's a very sobering statistic indeed. He says, "complacency is our biggest enemy in language revitalization". It is also the greatest obstacle to those promoting Māori development in other areas.
Far too many times we become smug, and satisfied with our situation and in so doing, become complacent and settle for the mediocre. Our lives remain unexamined, unchallenged, and unfulfilled. We choose the easy way. Our limits remain un-stretched. We choose to be less than we are capable of, only because we never try to become better. We choose a lesser life, because either we never want to better our best, or we are afraid we cannot achieve great results. It's easy to be complacent - to choose the lesser life, to settle for mediocre results, to never push ourselves, and to never challenge our beliefs and thinking. You can do better. Of course you will, if you choose to work hard at it. Kia pai tō wiki!
Tihei Mauriora - Erima Henare Download this message in PDF!
Ko te amorangi ki mua, ko te hāpai ō ki muri
The priest in front, the carriers behind
(One who leads the way will be supported by his followers)
Dr Maharaia Winiata studied at Edinburgh University, where he was the first Māori to gain the Doctor of Philosophy degree, and went on to become a great advocate for Māori education devoting most of his short life of 48 years to that end. At the unveiling of a memorial to this eminent leader, teacher and scholar, at Judea marae, Tauranga nearly fifty years ago, one of the speakers paid Dr Winiata the following tribute."He put the welfare of his people in the forefront of his life. He strove for equality between Māori and European in the best things of life, and worked to reduce evils among his own and the Pākehā people".
Formerly a Methodist Minister, one of Maharaia's great qualities and lasting achievements was his love for, and faith in, "his Māori people". Having faith in other people, specifically the people you lead and work with, is vitally important for any effective leader. When it comes down to it, it all comes down to faith - faith in others, their abilities, and of course, faith in yourself. You have to believe you can succeed, or you never will. So risk a little, try a little, and have a little bit of faith. Kia pai tō wiki!
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Kei a tātau tēnei ao; kei a tātau hoki ēnei iti kahurangi
This is our world; these are the challenges we must strive to overcome
New Zealand's former High Commissioner in the Solomon Islands, Fiji, and the Cook Islands, Tia Barrett, of Ngāti Maniapoto, considered that being indigenous demands of us high levels of achievement, competency in traditional cultural values, and being equipped to meet the needs of a highly competitive world. "That is a tall order, and requires more of us than of the non-indigenous. But, in fact, I think the well-educated, well-rounded, successful indigenous person stands tall as an outstanding achiever".
Are you ready to demand the very best from yourself? Some people simply say that they're the best they can be. They preach quality, but give mediocrity. They speak loudly, but don't back it up. We owe it to ourselves to take challenging roads, choose great dreams, make lofty goals, and demand the best of ourselves. Only by demanding the best will we ever really become so. Of course it's a tall order, but even the ordinary are capable of extraordinary feats – when they put their mind to it. Kia pai tō wiki!
Tihei Mauriora - Tia Barrett Download this message in PDF!
Mō tātou, ā, mō ngā uri ā muri ake nei
For us and our children after us
At last month's Ngā Pae o te Maramatanga indigenous conference on traditional knowledge, Tā Tipene O'Regan of Ngāi Tahu reminded us that our capacity for adaptation is self-determined and limited only by our ability to comprehend. He identified the essential attributes of leadership that Māori have - the ability to adapt and innovate. It's a clear point of differentiation and is the reason why the Māori leadership 'brand' is increasingly being recognized for its distinctiveness.
Leaders with the capacity for change and advancement are wise and visionary men and women. Attaining a vision of our life's work, communicating that vision to others, winning them over to our view, widening that vision, and following through. All these steps are integral to making our contributions as good leaders, something that will endure beyond our own lives. These great traits of adaptation and innovation are amply illustrated in Tā Tipene's life's work and internalizing them helps us to redefine our lives, and be more effective leaders of people. Kia pai tō wiki!
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Te tohu o te Rangatira, he manaaki
The sign of a Rangatira is generosity
A science graduate of Victoria University and first president of the Association of Māori University graduates, Māori leader and Anglican Bishop Manuhuia Bennett considered it important that all human rights be honoured. Further, and going beyond that, is his point that the Treaty, in and of itself, is a sacred covenant "based on the promises of two peoples to take the best possible care of each other".
The power of people helping to take care of each other is a fundamental part of any formula for self-improvement, and the bedrock of our society. It is the most substantial thing that you can do that shows solidarity with those in need of your attention and affection. It involves providing emotional support and encouragement, including pastoral care. Is it no small wonder that the characteristics of 'Rangatira' attributed to Bishop Bennett include manaakitanga?
Te kai a te Rangatira, he kórero - The food of a Rangatira is talk
Te tohu o te Rangatira, he manaaki - The sign of a Rangatira is generosity
Te mahi a te Rangatira, he whakatira i te iwi - The work of a Rangatira is to unite people
Taking care of each other is a key principle of what makes for a good leader – whether at home, at work, or at play. Kia pai tó wiki!
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Moemoeātia te moemoeā, engari whakatinanahia
Dream the dream, but achieve it also
Amongst the many tributes made to renowned Māori pioneer filmmaker, Merata Mita, who passed away recently; playwright Briar Grace Smith said "Merata was of the just do it brigade". Whether as a film director, writer, or producer, Merata of Ngāti Pikiao and Ngāi Te Rangi descent was a passionate voice for Māori and a brave advocate for social change with groundbreaking films such as Bastion Point: Day 507, Patu and Mauri.
Merata was a fearless and defiant leader in her chosen profession. One who believed in making things happen. The lesson is this - if there is ever one phrase that can make the difference in an otherwise ordinary life, it would be to "just do it". The very act of taking the initiative, setting a plan and taking action, can overcome any misgivings. The most brilliant plan, never acted on, is worse than a mediocre plan, immediately and passionately put into play. Some delay for fear they might do the wrong thing, or do the right thing at the wrong time. Either is preferable to knowing the right thing to do, but never doing it. Kia pai tō wiki!
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He wahine, he whenua, e ngaro ai te tangata
By women and land, men are lost - also refers to the essential nourishing roles that women and land fulfill, without which humanity would be lost
Once a humble cleaning lady, Dame Temuranga Batley-Jackson - the country's newest Dame, has been honoured for her work with prisoners, urban Māori and the Waitangi Fisheries Commission. According to broadcaster son Willie Jackson, Dame Temuranga, "is a woman with plenty of fire and courage, and she needed all of it when she challenged tribal leaders over rights for Māori living in the city and in her work with hardened criminals". "She wants her award to be an inspiration, particularly for Māori women".
A woman of courage indeed! Dame Temuranga's life gives new meaning to the word and how it is expressed in our everyday lives. Some people's lives focus on heroic acts of courage in exceptional circumstances; however, the focus here is on that inner fire and determination that enables one to lead an authentic and fulfilling life day in, and day out. This is the courage to change when change is needed, and to stand up for what is right, even against much opposition, and the strident opinions of others. The courage to embrace the unknown in spite of our fears - in our careers, in our relationships, or in the ongoing journey of understanding who we are, why we are here, and the direction we're headed. Kia pai tō wiki!
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Iti rearea teitei kahikatea ka taea
The rearea (bellbird) is one of the smallest birds in the forest, yet it is capable of reaching the top of the kahikatea, the tallest tree in the forests of Tuhoe
Māori language revivalist, and Te Wananga o Aotearoa Professor, Tīmoti Karetu, asserts that all our efforts, no matter how small or minimal, are better than no effort at all, and, if that effort is sustained, we should reach those great heights - the survival of our language. Our tupuna did not brave the hardships of ocean voyages, the perils of cultivating new land in Aotearoa, colonial warfare, and all the other hardships and trials of life to prepare the way for the extinction of their language, the whittling away of their inheritances, and their assimilation with the dominant culture.
So here we stand, still on the threshold of the 21st century, facing a future that holds promise and challenges. Would we have the courage to accept the offer of a glimpse of the Māori language 100 years from now? Would such a glimpse show us homes where te reo continues to be spoken, offices where it is in common use, a lively cultural scene with literature and music expressing our way of life? In our present situation there is indeed the promise of such a future. Let us hope and work for the strength and commitment to attain it. Kia pai tō wiki!
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Ahakoa ngā uaua
Kia kaha, kia toa, kia manawanui
When you find things that are difficult in life,
Stand strong, stand tall and be of great heart
Māori leader and politician Matiu Rata, who earned a lasting place in our history as the catalyst behind the modern Māori renaissance as Minister of Māori Affairs in the third Labour Government once said, "If you think on your journey through leadership that your road will be hard, you can rest assured that it is ten times harder for the rest of our people out there". Under Rata's inspired leadership "Māori affairs no longer remain in the quiet backwater, but have become part of the main agenda".
Far too many times, we fear making the hard decisions and instead settle for the mediocre. As a consequence, our lives remain unchallenged and unfulfilled. We consciously select easy options. We choose to be less than we can become only because we never try to become better. But we know the easy path is rarely the correct way, and that we were made for something better. We were made capable of performing great feats and to become like Matiu Rata, and others, if we put our minds to it. It doesn't really matter where you are now, or where you come from. What matters is where you're going, and how to get there. Destiny calls – and your future awaits. Kia pai tō wiki!
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Tau mahi e te ringa whero
Fit work for the hand of a chief
Sir Wira Gardiner considers his personal journey from high school failure to success as a public servant and businessman was underpinned by the skills he gained from 20 years in the Army; and that where one door closes, another opens. The former Army lieutenant colonel, and founding director of the Waitangi Tribunal says, "it happened that every door that has opened has presented a challenge that's been exciting, stimulating and worthwhile". But, he says, there is no reason other Māori young men who are struggling at school can't do the same. "I think the simple message is to have some determination, and set some objectives. They don't have to be 10-year visions, just get up in the morning and commit yourself to do well. It's surprising what will happen".
It's never too late to become a leader and be recognised by your peers and others as such. For Sir Wira, the new Chair of the Tertiary Education Commission, the old adage is true - life is what you make of it. It's also true that each of us have our own strengths and weaknesses, habits and understandings. Used wisely, they help us work through life's many challenges that may befall us. Regrettably, many of our individual traits are often kept hidden under the proverbial "bushel", kept from the sight of people and the world that surrounds us. Exercise within yourself the ability to lead in whatever your sphere of influence might be, and take your organisation, family, even yourself, to new heights and new opportunities. Kia pai tō wiki!
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Toi te kupu, toi te mana, toi te whenua
The permanence of the language, prestige, and land
On discharging the Māori Battalion in 1946, Lieutenant-Colonel James Henare told his troops, "Go back to our mountains, go back to our people, go back to our marae. But this is my last command to you - stand as Māori, stand as Māori, stand as Māori". In later years, James Henare became a successful farmer, a dedicated family man, also a statesman, a diplomat, and scholar, having been conferred an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by the University of Auckland in 1986, and a Knight of the British Empire in 1978.
It has been over seventy years since the Māori Battalion fought on the battlefields of the Middle East and Europe, displaying legendary bravery and sacrifice in battle. It is a story that epitomises what it means to be outstanding, to have courage and to gain success. The leaders of the Māori Battalion were the high achievers among Māori of that generation. They hoped the deeds of the Battalion would inspire and encourage young Māori to aim high. They knew advancement depended on education. Today we should live in celebration of our Māori identity, language and culture. Live knowing that we as Māori can achieve what we set our hearts on. Kia pai tō wiki!
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He matahiapo te ora
It is about being enraptured with life; knowing that life is precious
In a recent speech at Parliament (6 May) Hon Tariana Turia re-emphasized her faith in whānau development; and for people being prepared to make the seismic shift from defining whānau by the level of risk, to instead being prepared to trust in its potential. It is about thinking and doing things differently. "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got". No matter what line of work you may be in you can make a difference that counts.
Our world is anchored by the contributions of individuals - people who thought differently, dreamed differently, or acted differently. Most of us wonder sometimes if we have made a difference in anyone's life. The fact is, each of us influences other people's lives in some way, either for good or for bad. The simplest little things that we do – or don't do, can make a major difference in the lives of those we touch. One kind deed, one generous effort, one word of praise, one push in the right direction, and we affect the lives of others and ourselves forever. Kia pai tō wiki!
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Me whai anō au ki a Kāwai, ki te ringa tohau nui
I will keep on following Kāwai, who is so industrious
Last week, one of the cornerstones of Kōhanga Reo, Dr Iritana Tawhiwhirangi, of Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu, and Ngā Puhi, was invested as a dame for her services to Māori education. Dame Iritana who accepted this honour as a tribute to the families that drove the Kōhanga Reo movement in those early days, made it clear, "I have no intention of slowing down". Taking things easy is not in the vocabulary of this 81 year old stalwart leader who adopted a simple approach to life - stay on track.
Sometimes, though, we have to step back, take a deep breath, and accept that we live in a society where life moves at a non-stop, never-ending pace. We constantly have to keep moving, keep changing, keep growing, and keep working. It's like being on a treadmill, if we stop moving, we're likely to get run over. However, life is what you make of it. It's up to us to make it better, and we will rarely do that if we just persist in keeping our nose to the grindstone. Sometimes, we need to pause, reflect, replenish ourselves, change our direction, and prepare for a brighter, challenging future. Kia pai tō wiki!
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Ānei ngā mea i whakataukītia ai e ngā tūpuna, ko te kaha, ko te uaua, ko te pakari
Here are things valued by the ancestors, it is the strength, the vigour, and the sturdiness
At last week's ANZAC service at Gallipoli, Lieutenant-General Jerry Mateparae, of Ngāti Tūwharetoa and Ngāti Kahungunu, holder of the ONZM, and current Chief of Defence Force (first Māori to hold this office) explained that Gallipoli resonates with us because so many of our young men were defending values which were exceptionally important to them, their people, and their country. These young men were bound together by a common set of values and a culture that reflected their national heritage and character.
It takes courage to defend one's values. Courage is the defining element that makes ordinary men and women into extra-ordinary people. We tend to think of courage as the kind of thing that only heroes have e.g., dashing into a house on fire, or a clandestine operation behind enemy lines. That's well and good, but each and every one of us can demonstrate courage in our 'everyday lives'. We all have it innately within us, but it may take a bit of development and shoring up from time to time. Build up your courage by testing it. Look at the courage you have deep down within yourself, grasp a hold of it, and use it to make a change in your life. Kia pai tō wiki!
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He aroha whakatō, he aroha puta mai
If kindness is sown, then kindness you shall receive
The new deputy chief judge of the Maori Land Court, Caren Fox, of Ngāti Porou, has been hailed for her concern for Māori people. Of her, fellow lawyer, Moana Jackson says, "She genuinely cares for the rights of our people". Our rights are what every human being deserves, no matter who they are or where they live, so that we all can live in a world that is fair and just.
Should you care about helping others? Yes. If you don't care about helping others, you aren't making as much a difference in the world as you could do. Helping others is great for you, and great for them. We all know that we should care about loving our whānau, because when you get right down to it, our whānau are what's really important to us. We should also care about our individual futures. We should have hope for the future so that we are able to wisely determine our future path.
It's true, people really don't care about how much you know until they know how much you care. Caring people make a contribution. Caring people make a difference. They give to others and to themselves. They have an impact. They have an effect for good on themselves and the people around them. Show you care. Kia pai tō wiki!
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Aroha mai, aroha atu
Love toward us, love going out from us
Dr Pei Te Hurinui Jones, a Ngāti Maniapoto leader, genealogist, writer and scholar, had spent some time at Wesley College with no further formal education. However, in 1968 he received an honorary doctorate for literature from Waikato University. Ngā moteatea was one of Pei Te Hurinui's most valuable contributions to Māori literature. Tā Apirana Ngata described Jones as a "torch-bearer - a good man, with plenty of vision, a first-rate Māori scholar, steeped in West Coast folk lore, and a very competent master of English... and he has the fire that kindles hearts".
Enthusiasm is one of the keys to achieving success – and liking it in the process, because sustained enthusiasm constitutes the chief ingredient to what many call "the spice of life". Lose your enthusiasm for your job, and your job becomes meaningless; lose your enthusiasm for life, and your days become meaningless. The best leaders help their followers to see their vision and they have so much enthusiasm about that vision, they light a fire within their followers who can then 'let their light so shine' for all they are worth, and for all to see. Kia pai tō wiki!
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Whaowhia te kete mātauranga
Fill the basket of knowledge
Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith of Waikato University recently said in Te Miro (August 2009), "We must always promote to students that they have primary responsibility for their own learning and success. However, we must also take responsibility for the constant improvement of our own professional practice with a view to enhancing the academic experience and the achievement, completion and retention rates of our
students. There should be no stopping us in these endeavours".
The end point makes it all worthwhile for both student and teacher - graduates with some unique qualities, some great memories, life-long friendships and a set of broad based skills that will equip them for careers and for life beyond study. For many of us, we get to that point where we are tempted to sit back, look at where we've come from, examine where we've arrived at, and say to ourselves "Well, that's good enough. I think I'll stop here." Once you reach that destination, set higher, more challenging, more lofty goals, and set off for a new destination. Can you grow to higher levels? Sure you can – and you must. Kia pai tō wiki!
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Ina te mahi, he rangatira
See how he does – a leader indeed!
In te ao Māori, one way in which a leader is usually identified is by his/her work in improving, and protecting the interests and welfare of their people. Sir Graham Latimer tells the story about when he went to seek counsel from a respected Koroua not long after being made Chairman of the New Zealand Máori Council.
This old fella asked me what I was worrying about and I said "well what do I do?" He answered by saying "Well it's like this, if you don't lead you will be led, and now that you have set out to lead the people make sure that when you arrive at your destination you have still got the people with you, otherwise you have wasted their time and you have wasted your own time".
It's not just about getting to where you want to go that counts, but how you do it. Every relationship you have as a leader of people is an important one. People are going to hold you in high regard as a leader if you can manage to work with all sides in any situation and still come out ahead. Believe in yourself and success will surely come your way, not only for you but for those who are loyal and have confidence in you, and willingly follow your lead toward that common goal. Kia pai tō wiki!
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Mā te tauihu o tōu waka, e ū te waiora
Kia mahue atu, ngā mea whakahirahira i roto i te koriparipo
May the prow of your canoe, cleave the waters of life
And leave in its wake, mighty deeds
This year's Te Papa Treaty Debates of 28 January featured Auckland University's former Professor of Māori Studies and recipient of the Distinguished Companion of the NZ Order of Merit in 2009, Dr Ranginui Walker, of Whakatohea. Dr Walker grew up in a traditional whānau, hapū situation. "It was an idyllic existence: no-one hungered, no-one suffered, children were not beaten, and there was love all around me from whānau. But it was an unreal world, because it was unsustainable. The real world was much more competitive. I had to learn that to live in that world, and to survive, the way to get there was through education and working hard".
A good schooling and being prepared to put in the hard yards has always been a prerequisite to success. Once Ranginui had obtained his PhD, he was immediately called upon to be an instrument in the hands of his people for good whether it was as an advocate, activist, media commentator, or academic. He certainly made his mark. Can you do likewise? Why not? Catch the vision of higher education, have the determination to get going and the stick-ability to persist until you succeed, and most importantly, to make yourself available to be of service to others. Kia pai tō wiki!
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Ko tā te rino i wawāhi ai, mā te rino anō hei honohono,
Ko tā te kakaka i haehae ai, mā te kakaka anō hei tuitui
What the Pākehā sought to disrupt, the Pākehā will seek to restore,
What the Māori has lost, the Māori will strive to regain
Last month's 7th Annual Waitangi Rua Rautau Lecture at Waiwhetu marae, Lower Hutt, featured Te Atiawa leader, Dr Kara Puketapu. An innovative Secretary of Māori Affairs, Kara has been described as "the man within Government who drove the change in policy that lead to the establishment of Kōhanga Reo". He is also credited with the establishment of the highly successful Tū Tangata programme, which was the basis of his lecture entitled 'Standing Tall in 2040'. He said, "Let us be ambitious and work hard". "Whānau New Zealanders, with the blood of many races, they will stand tall and proud knowing their whānau culture provides a contribution to their citizenship responsibilities".
Kara's exemplary leadership is all about standing tall, and to be brave and proud of yourself in the knowledge that you have done your best. It's true what the old quote says: "if we don't stand for something, we'll fall for anything". How do we stand tall and generate a positive belief in ourselves? By doing positive things, and thinking positive. It inspires confidence in our abilities. We ban negative thoughts and feelings from our lives. We work hard every hour of every day to build a strong foundation under our beliefs, through training, up-skilling and personal growth. Kia pai tō wiki!
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Whakapūpūtia mai ō mānuka kia kore ai e whati
Cluster the branches of the mānuka so that they will not break
(Necessity of Māori to unite, to have a basic philosophy about where they are going)
This year, thousands of people converged on Ratana Pā for the annual celebrations marking the birth of prophet Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana. Along with his faith healing, religious leadership, and political influence, TW Ratana gave new hope to Māori in difficult times during the 1920s, which later developed into a rising tide of nationalism. He called on Māori to come together and for successive governments to recognize the Treaty. "Dear people, if you desire to hold and maintain your identity as a Máori race, unite yourselves, for your rights and privileges as embodied in Te Tiriti o Waitangi".
Through uniting ourselves, there is no limit to what we can achieve as a people and also as individuals. Ratana showed a hope and faith in people and the future of Te Ao Māori. A belief in one's abilities, and a commitment to following a path of self improvement are good first steps. Are you willing to unite yourself? Are you willing to rise to the occasion? Will you take a chance on your abilities? Will you take the plunge, even when the future may be uncertain? Take a chance and challenge yourself to greater heights, better futures, and a better life. Kia pai tō wiki!
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Takahia te ao, ka kitea te iwi, e tū tangata mai tātou.
Ngā uri o rātou, kua mene ki te pō
Walk the universe, and you will find our people,
Let us stand proudly, descendents of those who have gone to Te Pō
On 16 January 2010, Emeritus Professor Patu Hohepa provided the MANU AO keynote address at the 7th Annual National Doctoral Writing Retreat organised by Ngā Pae o te Maramatanga at the Tainui Endowment College, Hopuhopu. In his lecture entitled, Karanga Hokianga (Hokianga Calls), he encouraged the students not to lose human understanding in the search for academic knowledge and footholds. You can be clear, explicit and intelligible without losing humanity and understanding. Emphasizing the point, he reminded the young scholars that, "a quarter teaspoon of understanding is worth more than a truckload of knowledge".
Knowledge and wisdom is not the same thing. Wisdom implies understanding i.e., understanding of the consequences of our actions. We live at a time where there is an abundance of knowledge but understanding seems in short supply. While we know a person's wisdom develops with experience and time, we should focus less on isolated bits of knowledge and more on attaching wisdom to it as well...learning from practice, and the past mistakes of others. Pursuing knowledge and understanding and being able to apply both appropriately is the key to a meaningful future. Kia pai tō wiki!
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Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini
A warrior never stands alone, but stands with many
Professor Mason Durie began the year with a double celebration, a knighthood in the New Year Honours and his 45th wedding anniversary. The Massey University academic was named a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to Māori health, and in particular, public health services. Sir Mason described the knighthood as an honour for his family, especially his wife Arohia. "These things are never about one person". "It is also recognition of all those people who have helped make a difference, many of whom are no longer with us".
Many people climb the ladder of success only to keep others from straddling similar heights. For Mason, his reason for climbing has never been to keep others down, but to pull them up. Elevating others and recognising their contributions is a gift to ourselves as well as to those we acknowledge. To value others' efforts is more than regarding them as important. To value is to appreciate the finer qualities and to invest time, energy, effort, and sacrifice in its maintenance. We all need to get to the point where we selflessly give others the respect they deserve, and the trust they have earned. It's only when we do so that we achieve the results we are seeking – and more. Kia pai tō wiki!
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