Leaders Are Made Not Just Born – Planning For Leaders and Leadership


Turoa Royal, School of Education, Victoria University of Wellington




E nga mana, e nga reo, e nga karangatanga maha, tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa, kia mihia te mano, te tini kua mene atu ki Hawaiki katoa, ratou te tututanga o te puehu, te whiu o te kupu i nga wa takatu, i nga wa takatu ai ratou. Heoi ano ra, waiho ake ra, ratou ki a ratou, tatou ki a tatou nga morehu nga kanohi ora o ratou ma, tena tatou, tena tatou, tena tatou katoa.


It is with some hesitation Madam Chair [Chris Webster] that I accept the invitation to provide some insights into the topic of leadership – this is a young Maori leaders’ conference and I look at myself in the mirror and I said ‘You’re a old bugger Turoa, what are you doing accepting this invitation to talk to the young leaders at this Leadership Conference’ and I guess I have also been accredited on the programme as being at the Young Maori Leaders Conference in 1970, and that was many. many years ago, and I now understand why my parents called me Turoa , I’ve been around a long time.


I just want to refer to Bishop Manuhuia Bennett; I think his talk was an excellent inspiring talk, relaxed, full of giggles, full of laughter. But at the heart of it was a fair amount of meat that we could take on board in this hui. If there was nothing else that you take from this hui I like his ‘three D’s’ the definition – who are we?  the direction- where are we going? And the drive – how are we going to get there? I think it is an excellent message for everybody here today.


Since 1970 a huge number of things have gone on. Let me remind you of a view that I want to refer to at the end of my paper again, but since 1970, the Treaty of Waitangi has been very much to the fore, in giving shape to the society in which we live. It has been a foundation document on which we have started to pour not only our sense of justice in developing and using the Treaty, but also to see it as a wide foundation document for the whole country. I think that is one of the things that has come through since 1970. The other one is a development of our relationship with the Crown, still in its infancy, but there are a whole lot of things that have happened since 1970 that have helped us to forge a link with the Crown in greater detail as a result of the Treaty. I think that te reo has been another thing which has become more prominent since 1970. When I was on the school inspectorate, there were only eleven district high schools teaching Maori. Since then, there has been a huge renaissance in te reo me ona tikanga. That has been a great advance since the 1970s; despite the fact that in a report I have seen recently it is still in the category of a dying language.


Nevertheless we need to recognise the great strides we have taken with regard to the reo me ona tikanga. This year we were invited to Santa Fe in America to talk to them about the state of our language and the state of our culture in relationship to our wananga, a Maori university under an Act of 1990. Now that group of 150 American Indians in Santa Fe really indicated to us that they were looking to us for ideas about planning their future. This is not to say that we have really achieved what we want to achieve, it is to say that we have something to sell to them or we have something to talk to them about. I guess what will happen as a result of Maori radio and Maori television, the recent innovation there, will help us to develop the reo me on tikanga a lot more.


What Manuhuia [Bennett] said was there is a challenge to be sure of who we are if we are going to live in the world rather than live along the road as it were. That is a big challenge for us, for that is what is happening to our people. We need to recognise that many are living overseas. One way that our little hapu has developed was through a web site so we could talk to our nieces and nephews and our relations in Dallas, London, New York, Brisbane, Sydney and Beijing. We need to accept the challenge if we believe in whanaunatanga, then we have got to make sure it works, no matter where we live. I think that came out of what Manuhuia Bennett was saying. Let me say now that I guess my claim, if that is a claim to fame, is that I have been associated with education all my life; a principal of Wellington High School some years ago; chief executive of a new polytechnic in Porirua; Whitireia Community Polytechnic and now more importantly in this forum associated with Te Wananga o Raukawa as the chairman of the Mana Whakahaere or the chairman of the Council of Te Wananga o Raukawa. The presentation that Petina will give is basically how we might plan our future in terms of leadership in our particular area.


I want to say also that I want to mihi to Manuhuia, Bishop Bennett, on the basis of his korero and wish him well for the future and hope that he maintains good health in the future. I suppose that the importance of this hui has not gone unnoticed as an important hui of this type, can I take the opportunity to congratulate the organisers of this particular hui in bringing all you people together and I have a strong recommendation ‘me hui ano, me hui ano’, let us carry on hui of this kind simply because there is a great need for Maori leadership at the present time. Nor has it gone unnoticed that there are a number of younger generation in this forum who are already in positions of leadership ‘ka pu te ruha, ka hao te rangatahi kei a koutou te wa i huri ake nei’. My part of this session is by way of introducing the subject of rangatiratanga - leadership and to support the view expressed in the title. From our point of view it is true, that leaders are made not just born. That was as true in the past as it is at present. Our concern however is not whether leaders are made or just born it is how the quality of leadership can be developed. That is needed for a major breakthrough in repositioning Maori in New Zealand society today and tomorrow. I hope that this conference dwells on this matter in the two days we have together.


I suppose that being in leadership positions including in tikanga Pakeha institutions brings not only a reputation but also a certain amount in notoriety. I know that some of my principal colleagues know about how I nearly lost the plot in caning a boy at Wellington High School when I shouldn’t have. I might tell you the story about it, it is about a boy - lets call him Craig - who went through the high school like a dose of Epsom salts, a naughty kid, I have never seen a file as thick as his. We had a big thick file on him. The form teacher was absolutely annoyed with him and couldn’t control him so he was referred up to the guidance team. They couldn’t control him and referred him to the senior mistress who also gave up on him. The deputy principal finally placed Craig’s big thick file on my desk  - ‘over to you’. He was just such a naughty kid, not able to concentrate too much but he was a bright kid too who ought to have been straightened out a lot more.


Well I brought Craig into my office and I said to him ‘Now listen here boy, you have run right over this particular school and it is not going to continue because you are disturbing everybody - you disturb every class you are in and when I catch you the next time outside my office I’m going to take you in, no questions asked, I’m going to whack you once on the tail, and the second time you are up here outside no questions asked I’m going to whack you two times’ and I said ‘When you are up here the third time how many times’ and Craig said ‘Oh..oh..oh.. three times’ I said ‘Remember that’.


Blow me down three weeks later who should be sitting outside my office but Craig ‘Right inside’ bang whack on his tail and he rubs his bum and he is under my low table and he says ‘You whacked me Sir’ I said ‘Yes I whacked you, what are you up here for? I came up to get some chalk for Mrs Walsh’ and he said, ‘You shouldn’t have whacked me, I’m going to tell my Mum’ I said, ‘I’m telling your Mum before you boy I’m on the phone’. I said ‘Mrs So-and -so, I want to come and see you I’ve done wrong at my particular school’ ‘What have you done?’ she says. Oh God there’s my future out the door, anyhow I said ‘I want to come and see you’ she said ‘What did you do’ I said ‘ I whacked your boy for nothing’ ‘Did you now’ I said ‘Yes’ as I was thinking about my resignation as a high school principal ‘Oh you did, did you? Well give him another whack because he was naughty this morning at my place’ She saved my day.

The sequel to that was a few months ago. A furniture truck drove up beside me and I was on the street and this big fellow comes out and he is pumping my hand ‘Mr Royal, Mr Royal’ and I’m sort of saying I don’t recognise the face and he says ‘No you probably recognise my bum more’ anyhow he said ‘I want to apologise’ I said ‘Why? He says ‘I brought up kids and I’ve got a fourteen year old and he is giving me a hard, hard time and he is like me’ I said ‘Well, I’m glad that you have apologised, and I apologise to you too because when I tell students in the school that I am against violence and no one is going to violently abuse anybody else in this school I will kick them out – how can I whack your tail and say to the kids you are not going to do such things, that everybody should feel free of violence in this particular school’


Soon after that, I learnt a lesson and got rid of the cane, simply because how could I say that and have a rule of the school of not abusing anybody when you do the same? It’s the same as smoking I guess. How can you outlaw smoking in a school when you are inside your own office puffing away and the smoke pours out the window?  I guess that these are the sorts of things that have messages; we need to be true as leaders to our own ideals or to our own views about the way we operate as leaders.


My part of this session is by way of introducing a subject of leadership and I want to introduce that point and take a theoretical view of this, and you need a handout that I have made for you to read it through, after that we will ask Tina [Petina Winiata] to take the next session that deals with leadership succession. We will do a case study of a tribal experiment called Whakatupuranga Rua Mano. As a result of that we put in place an institution called Te Wananga o Raukawa as one way of developing leadership. Our confederation of Te Atiawa, Ngati Toa and Ngati Raukawa were responsible for those particular developments. Let me say that the handout on page three talks about defining leadership – I won’t deal with that too much except to say that leadership is defined for me as the ability of a person leading a group to achieve the goals that have been set for and by the group. Leadership also implies follower-ship. There is no leadership if there is no follower-ship, there is no follower-ship if there is no leadership. The intimate relationship between the two concepts leadership and follower-ship is significant. The higher the leadership quality displayed the higher the likelihood of followership. Effective groups tend to enjoy stable followership and leadership, and generally a higher level of morale.


We can understand Maori leadership from a Maori contextual point of view. It seems reasonable to suggest that the term rangatira itself might shed light on the meaning of leadership. One way to examine it is to cut it in half, ranga meaning to weave and tira meaning a group. The understanding of this point immediately provides us with one of the characteristics or duties of a rangatira, that person then has the responsibility to weave the group into one, to provide a sense of unity and group cohesion. Interestingly enough the Williams dictionary defines rangatiratanga as evidence of breeding and greatness, this definition gives evidence to the fact that leaders did come from a senior line. Let me now refer to the page four of the handout, which deals with leadership qualities in traditional Maori society and for fear of insulting your intelligence, and your knowledge about pre-European leadership it is not my intentions to dwell too long on that one. While there have been many writers who have commented on Maori leadership of the past, Elsdon Best, Maharaia Winiata, Firth and lately Dr Hirini Moko Mead, Api Mahuika and Dr Ranginui Walker are recommended, some of the points that are highlighted in these writings are as follows:


The notion of nationhood in pre-European times was not a significant concept, nor was the concept of race. The concepts of waka, iwi, hapu and whanau in well defined geographical areas were far more significant. One can surmise that the Declaration of Independence 1835 may have been the first major attempt to formulate the idea of a nation. The notion of society was based on kinship and consisted of kin groups; whanaungatanga was an essential ingredient to the cohesion and the survival of iwi, hapu and whanau. The social structure of hapu, iwi and whanau was the basis of Maori society, and still is, despite the buffeting from modern society. Each iwi, hapu and whanau had a well-defined geographical area within which tino rangatiratanga was exercised. The whanau was not necessarily made up of biological family, as we know it, in general terms it represented the extended family with kaumatua at the head, Maharaia Winiata maintained that the head of a hapu was referred to as a rangatira and the head on an iwi an ariki.


The tohunga, played the role of expert, priest, teacher, genealogy expert and keeper of the tribe’s traditional and social knowledge. From that point of view it was a tragedy that so much potential to extend the knowledge of matauranga was lost in the passing of the Tohunga Suppression Act that outlawed tohunga-ism at the beginning of last century. The tohunga title was usually but not always given to someone of high birth who had attended training and education at a whare wananga.


It is true that in principle, leaders were people of high birth, they came from the senior line. Much more interesting to this forum would be a paper on the nature of rangatiratanga, a paper The ‘Mandate of Leadership and Decision Making Process’ was prepared for the chief executive of Te Puni Kokiri by Dr Hirini Moko Mead. It is an excellent summary of rangatiratanga of the past. There were three very good articles written when Wira Gardiner was the chief executive of the restructured Ministry for Maori Development ‘Pre European Leadership’ by Dr Mead, ‘The Changing Role of Maori Leadership From the Contact Period’ by Ranginui Walker and the third, A Description of Maori Organisations/Grouping of the Immediate Past’ (The Maori Women’s Welfare League, New Zealand aori Council, Maori Congress, the Federation of Maori Authorities are part of the last paper). I hold them up here, you may not have seen these ones, and the reason being is that they were banned by the Minister of Maori Affairs of that time. Why they were banned is not known. We have copies in the library at Te Wananga. We were lucky our copies fell off the back of a truck in Lambton Quay and an enterprising student wishing to complete an assignment on the subject found them by sheer accident. I would recommend that these three articles be published for general circulation because they bring to us an understanding and greater wisdom and a greater knowledge about leadership of the past, of the changing society during colonisation and also of the present. I ask the organisers of this hui to see if those articles could be published. [refer Appendices]


I want to go on and have a look at seven characteristics of rangatiratanga that Hirini Moko Mead had in his writings.










However as Mahuika points out that there were times when leadership changed and in a competitive environment, leadership did change. He points out that there are eight points of how the mandate of a rangatira changed in the old days


·         Younger siblings taking over the role of leader

·         By leaving the district and seeking elevation elsewhere

·         By forcing a division in the group

·         By arranging a political marriage to improve ones prospects

·         By establishing a new leader line

·         Moenga rangatira

·         By waging war and occupying land of another tribe or group

·         By cunning and sometimes outright murder


It is a myth, according to Mahuika, that ambition was not a common attribute. Leadership roles were not always pre-ordained nor non-competitive. He says that ambition was certainly a variable in the politics of leadership. Here is another list by Hirini Mead where he talks about the poumanawa, or talents, of a leader and he lists eight


·         He kaha ki te mahi kai – capacity to obtain food.

·         He kaha ki te whakahaere i nga raruraru – able to mediate, manage and settle disputes. ‘Te kai a te rangatira he korero’ – might fit in here as well.

·         He toa – courageous in war.

·         He kaha ki te whakahaere e te iwi – a good strategist and leader in war.

·         He mohio ki te whakairo – knowledge in the art of carving.

·         He atawhai tangata-know how to manaaki people.

·         He hanga whare nunui, waka ranei – he has command of the knowledge and technology to build large houses or canoes.

·         He mohio ki nga rohe whenua has sound knowledge of boundaries of tribal lands.


Modern society demands far more talents than those stated above, but they are basic in terms of understanding Maori leadership of the past.


The next section I want to deal with is the summary of the changing face of leadership by Ranginui Walker. [See Appendices]  I just want to summarise what he said about what happened from the beginning of colonisation in 1840 right through to the present day. He makes the point that


·         The Tohunga Suppression Act, which outlawed the exercise of tohunga-ism and thus the spiritual healing of tohunga for dealing with ‘mate Maori’ was actually a travesty and an issue, related to the limiting of leadership capacity in Maori society.

·         Second, he said the introduction of the musket, which readily felled the rangatira and all people even by the commoner, was also one that reduced the mana of Maori leadership.

·         Third, the conversion to Christianity eliminated the tapu of chiefs thereby weakening their authority.

·         Fourth, the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi moved the traditional power away from the ariki and rangatira to Pakeha control and direction.

·         Fifth, Grey eliminated mana whenua of the chiefs by extinguishing their title to the land by ‘fair purchases’.

·         Sixth, when Te Wherowhero was announced Maori King, Grey waged war on Waikato and confiscated three million acres in Waikato, Taranaki and the Bay of Plenty.


In retelling the history of New Zealand, Walker reminds us of the role of the Young Maori Party at the start of the twentieth century, the role of the Ratana Church in the political arena, the formation of the 28th Battalion, the political Maori leadership of Ngata and Pomare (and more recently of Matiu [Rata] who worked tirelessly to set up the Waitangi Tribunal) but always within a Pakeha political arena and the power of the Crown. Our history has been a matter of defining our role in relation to self-government and autonomy and our search for an acceptable relationship with the Crown. The degree of autonomy and self-rule has yet to be found and cemented in place.


The present day organisations in the third of the unpublished banned articles makes the point by outlining who are the Maori bodies at national level. The Maori Council, the Welfare League, the Federation, Congress, Maori Tourism Board, Maori church and the sports groups along with Maori professional groups such as lawyers, doctors and political parties were part of the present day scene of national Maori bodies. At the second level they talk about the Maori regional bodies, that is the land trusts, trust boards, iwi runanga, urban authorities, marae trusts, recreational bodies, professional bodies and local Maori groups. At the next level down, there is another level, which talks about the educational initiatives, in other words an educational group that led the development of Kohanga Reo, Kura Kaupapa Maori, Wharekura and Wananga.


At another level there are specialist Maori organisations that need to be recognised such as the Maori Land Court, Te Puni Kokiri, Waitangi Tribunal, the Maori Language Commission, Te Ohu Kaimoana and of course the organisations that deal with Maori radio and now Maori television. The summary in that particular article makes the following suggestions as to the characteristics of modern day Maori groupings, they say


·         That many organisations have formed as a response to government policies and government programmes.

·         That many organisations have Maori concerns as their central kaupapa.

·         There appears to be little co-ordination between organisations and most are working in isolation from each other.

·         Many Maori are engaged in decision-making roles.

·         Most are appointed or elected to these roles, but few of them whether elected or appointed are directly accountable to the iwi.


Most of the decisions are based on the Western model of democracy; that is one where discussions end in a vote and the majority win the day. Mead and Walker note the need to allow people to have a say and argue that consensus is the preferred model of decision making. It rests on the assumption that the consensus of opinion is far more important than the consumption of time. It also rests on the assumption that individual stances become known and that consensus decisions made after negotiated compromise are likely to last, thereby leading to greater cohesion rather than a win/lose decision that is often present in the Western model. However, much more research and work is necessary to bring more light on the subject of effective decision making between Maori groups at whanau, hapu, iwi and national level.


Finally I want to deal with the context and challenges of leadership in today’s Aotearoa. There are many challenges facing Maori society today and Maoridom requires a greater depth in leadership and a greater astuteness, commitment, energy and vision in handling the issues of today and tomorrow. I have attempted to look at rangatiratanga in talking about the nature of leadership. I have noted that leaders of the past were not only of high lineage but many achieved rangatiratanga through action befitting a rangatira.


There are other ways of understand the nature of society and the aspirations of the people that you wish to assist. Preliminary research on understanding the aspirations of iwi Maori has only just begun. Let us have a look at what iwi Maori want so that we as leaders can respond to that. We have a small group at Te Wananga o Raukawa trying to define such aspirations, ‘what do people want?’ in other words ‘what is education for?’ ‘What do we want to do with education?’ and how do we use education in such a way that it matches the aspirations of the people? This work has been inspired by the writings of Professor Mason Durie at Massey University who in 1994 wrote an article on this matter and presented it to the Hui Whakapumau. Mason noted a few of our aspirations, such as iwi development, the fulfilment of the Treaty of Waitangi and defining tino rangatiratanga – what is it? While our research is in its infancy, when finished it has the potential to assist us in aligning our programmes with those aspirations; and further, it may help us in focussing our attention as leaders on more significant issues relating to these aspirations.


Once we think we have all the aspirations by using a small sample, a small test group, we intend to survey a sample of say fifty Maori groups and organisations around the country, throughout New Zealand, firstly to gauge their aspirations and then to see if there is a ranked order of importance; in other words could we rank those aspirations? The survey may take another six months to obtain a significant result. However, the following list has been developed with a small number of organisations.  The list is not yet complete. There are other concerns that some of the working group wish us to include.


The list so far is as follows:


First, the fulfilment of the Treaty of Waitangi is an aspiration of our people. With hundreds of claims to be heard it appears that this is a significant aspiration of our iwi, however it does not only refer to treaty settlement but the recognition of the Treaty in all walks of life. There is also a need to define more precisely our relationship with the Crown, especially when members of the community begin to talk about republicanism; in other words’ what is going to happen with the Treaty if this country starts talking about republicanism and whether we need to move towards that. Thus there are issues related to the future of the Treaty of Waitangi, but more importantly there are more than seven hundred claims in front of the Tribunal, as claims against the Crown.


Second, iwi and hapu development. As treaty settlements and the distribution of assets to iwi become more prominent, and as we become more involved in the provision of services through contracts to our people, iwi and hapu development become more meaningful as an important activity. In other words if we are going to be contractors as many runanga are doing, iwi are being contracted by government to provide social services to their people. Iwi and hapu therefore become a more prominent part of our development.


Third, is language and cultural revival. Te reo me ona tikanga is enjoying a renaissance with the restructuring of the education system to include the kohanga reo and kura kaupapa Maori, the three wananga and with the advent of Maori radio and Te Ao Maori television there is a chance that the reo may enjoy a brighter future despite reports that it is still considered to be a dying language.


Fourth, tino rangatiratanga defined and implemented is one which is being written about many times. Mason Durie’s article on this subject states that there is no single equivalent meaning of the word in English but self-determination is the most frequently used equivalent. He notes that there are various examples of tino rangatiratanga now emerging that may stretch from the recognition of mana whenua and mana tangata through to providing contractual services to our people. In other words, we do it ourselves, in health, in education, housing through to developing a Maori political party which I understand Derek Fox will be here tomorrow making a stand for a Maori political party that might promote Maori aspirations and may join in a coalition with other parties to promote Maori interests.


Fifth, there is a model of constitutional change with a tikanga Maori house and a tikanga Pakeha house in parliament with an upper house called the Treaty House. Our own federation supports this model. It calls for a major constitutional change to the political system in New Zealand and it calls for a re-positioning of Maori in society. That will require even greater effort on the part of our Maori leaders of today and tomorrow.


Sixth, aspiration in the management of resources. As settlements are finalised there is a great need to grow the assets rather than squander them. It requires much needed management skills and ethical, honest and unselfish behaviour of asset managers who control assets that belong to all members of the iwi or hapu.


Seventh, economic development and employment coupled with managing resources. Mindful of the late 1980’s restructuring which put nearly 40% of our Maori labour force out of employment, there is a need to ensure this does not happen again. The experience showed that we couldn’t rely on government to provide life-long full time employment for all. If you are poorly qualified, your life chances and employment prospects are not as good as those who have the necessary qualifications.


Eight, article three of the Treaty implies the right to equity in health, housing, education etc. This has not been achieved as yet and it is to be regretted. New systems are proficient, but ones that are Maori driven are required. Maori management of Maori matters is a catch cry that is becoming far more audible and demanding.


Nine, youth development. With the increase in drug and alcohol availability, minimal parental interest in the education of their children, a growing tradition of teenage pregnancies that restricts life chances, unmotivated secondary school students struggling with their own self-image and identity is a concern of many parents.


Ten, globalisation and retention of iwi members. Globalisation has recently become a dirty word with the almost outright street war in Genoa where this particular feeling comes from. The concerns here refer to the long-term survival of Maori people living elsewhere in the world. How are the values of whanaungatanga, manaaki, reo me ona tikanga are to survive in these circumstances? Will information technology be the important ingredient for survival for our people even to 2040 when we celebrate the two hundredth year of the signing of the Treaty?


Eleven, the culture of peace in the world. Where war atrocities seem to be increasing at a time one would expect the march of civilisation would improve our ability to live together in peace, it still seems a dream and a century away. I have included that here because it has been mentioned in the context of our soldiers in East Timor, the recent war in Bosnia and the continuing wars in Palestine and Israel, Northern Ireland and parts of Russia and Africa.


Twelve, iwi against violence. The concerns of Miripeka Raukawa-Tait should be supported. All Maori citizens should be horrified by the abuse and violence against family members, children and women and perpetuated by Maori males in general. We as Maori males should condemn the violence perpetuated by Maori. It was good to see the Minister of Maori Development Parekura Horomia working closely with Merepeka in a fund raising event recently. We need to stamp out this violence. Tikanga Maori does not support violence in the form that it has taken in modern society.


Thirteen, kaitiakitanga of papatuanuku. There is ever-growing concern for the way in which society in general is treating papatuanuku. While we have perpetuated a clean green image there is still a need to be concerned with pollution, the lack of clean waterways, the seashore and the devastation of our native trees by pests.


This list is not exhaustive, there are many others. A student group recently pointed out the statistics of Maori women where they were in various socio-economic scales and associated difficulties in raising loans for tertiary education and Maori women not having the same life chances as other parts of our society and they have recommended that if the concerns of youth should be highlighted so should these particular points with regards to Maori women.


No reira heoi ano kei te teretere te taima me mutu au ki konei i tenei wa. Kei a koutou te wa, korero mai ki a matou he whakaaro noa iho, ki a koutou i tenei wa, na reira koutou, tena tatou tena tatou kia ora ano tatou katoa.