purpose of this YMLC was to bring together young Maori from a range of different
communities to discuss common problems of the people. Such discussions were
expected to promote understanding necessary to any solution, but also to
establish personal contacts between young Maori from all tribes, in different
communities and different socio-economic circumstances. This was expected to
facilitate cooperation towards future effective action.
YMLC, promoted leadership skills amongst young Maori and encouraged the
inter-generational transfer of leadership skills, and by its very nature,
addressed many of the issues associated with community capacity building, a
major programme in the Government's Maori Affairs and Social Policies. The
conference reflected the greater diversity of Maori society, more diverse than
ever before. Participants held wider ranging vocational and social skills and
expertise, and a wider range of experience and life-styles. Generational,
experiential and ideological differences too, which emerged last century are
issues for this century.
The first nation-wide YMLC was held in 1939. Others followed in 1959,
1970, and 1977. In addition, many regional Maori Leadership conferences followed
up on these national conferences. All were organised through the former National
Council for Adult Education. Sir Apirana Ngata was the sustaining force behind
the 1939 hui. He and others wanted young leaders to examine the issues of
adjustment and development in rural Maori communities. The major questions of
the day were centred on land use and development. However diminishing land
resources and a rising population put the consideration of off-farm employment
opportunities and rural to urban relocation on the agenda as possible solutions.
agenda for that first YMLC in 1939 covered Economic Conditions, (including Land
Resources and Land Use, Work Other Than Farming, Expenditure), Housing and the
Home, Health, The Community and Education.
The 1959 YMLC followed the same format as in 1939. Economic conditions
related to land use and land development remaining a focal point of the
conference. Although the urban migration of Maori as a solution to the economic
depression of rural life had begun during World War II, and took hold in the
decades that followed, the magnitude of problems related to urban adjustment
took some time to manifest themselves.
all YMLC there has been a wide social range represented, but especially at the
later two in 1970 and 1977. The 2001 conference was the fifth national
conference, after a gap of 23 years. It
differed most markedly from its predecessors in that the issue of leadership per se had not been addressed in depth before, whereas leadership
itself was the major topic for 2001. At earlier conferences, leadership was
implied, it was something that happened rather than was planned for. In the
earlier conferences, it was thought that stimulating free discussion would bring
home the importance and generality of the problems, and provide an incentive to
the exercise of leadership. Such a demonstration of the capacity of younger
people to discuss problematic conditions with sincerity and intelligence might
encourage older generations to assist them and give them scope for the
development and exercise of their talents.
Manuhuia Bennett the last survivor of the first conference in 1939, spoke from
his home in Rotorua of his recollections to the 2001 conference through a video
link. Amongst his reminiscences were the following:
‘The focus of that hui was how could we improve the
economic lot of the Maori people. One of the great programmes that was being
introduced at that time was Ngata’s land development scheme and that saved the
Maori people from utter starvation. He paid with his life almost in that job, he
lost his mana in parliament, and he was put on trial, which was very unfair.
That wasn’t the main focus, but it was the main pressure. And out of that
pressure came many other focuses and every time that meant the group became more
and more Maori. One of the side issues of those conferences was the restoration
of our meetinghouses, the upgrading of our marae and the growing sense of
identification with tribe, with iwi, with whanau, with hapu. But still the
language was disappearing, and that was because the government was more
concerned with the empire than with the nation’.
‘1939 was a sort of a progress hui. The issues were;
How were the land schemes going? How were the schools doing? How was Te Aute
going? How was St Stephens going? One of the big differences in those times was
that Maori had all sorts of things going. In everything that went on in the
Maori world, there was always a hui for the people. They had big hockey
tournaments in Omahu and Hastings. All the kaingas would get together at Omahu.
They would put up a temporary raupo house where everybody slept. They played
sports all day and then they would go to late at night discussing the problems
of the people. That was when Api and them would appear, at night, and lecture
the players. The players wouldn’t take part in the discussion, but Api and
them would bring their policies forward and tell us what was going on. Very
inspiring. And of course they talked about whakapapa and how to do up the
Graham Latimer attended the 1959 Young Maori Leaders’ Conference; initially he
thought it was to have a big party to celebrate the conferring of a doctoral
degree on Pat Hohepa. In his address to the 2001 conference Sir Graham spoke of
Some years ago I ended up at the conference of young leaders and to some
extent I thought that we really had gone up there to have a free hangi and to
enjoy ourselves. The major part of the hui was when Pat Hohepa got his degree.
One of the more disappointing aspects of the decision
to march to parliament with the anti-GE petition was the lack of strategic
thinking by the marchers. While they were planning their march, a panel of MPs,
including three Government ministers and two former ministers, plus
representatives from other parties, were speaking to the conference. Had the
anti GE petition been presented to the parliamentarians they would have had to
respond; which after all was the purpose of the petition. Strategic thinking and
leadership would have appraised the occasion and adapted an appropriate
Demand far outstripped our original estimates of 180 to 200 participants.
Initially the size of the conference was determined by the 220 maximum capacity
of the Great Hall in Parliament, which was our original venue. Indeed when we
had 200 registrations and were still four weeks from the opening of the
conference, we had to inform enquirers that we would soon close registration and
to register quickly if they wanted to ensure acceptance. This resulted in a
flood of enquiries and registrations from prospective participants. We had to
make a quick decision to shift to a larger venue in Wellington.
Once the shift to the Michael Fowler Centre had been confirmed, we
informed all who enquired that the venue had been changed and that there would
be plenty of room for further registrations.
As it was, although the main auditorium at the MFC has capacity for 1300,
a conference like this one, which involved six breakout workshop groups,
stretched the facilities available to near capacity.
in all, there were close to 450 participants at this conference. Similar
conferences last century had between forty and one hundred participants. In 2001
they came from all sectors of Maori society, although not surprisingly those not
in full time paid employment were poorly represented. Other sectors not well
represented were post-graduate and senior university students and Maori working
in commerce and business. Most participants had their registrations; travel and
accommodation paid by their employers or received partial financial support from
employers or their iwi authorities. Few paid for their own registrations. A
small number of participants were critical of the advancing age of speakers and
panel members, but as the conference progressed and its themes unfolded, such
During the conference there were several calls for more regular
leadership conferences in future. This was a resolution passed unanimously in
the final plenary session. Some
participants complained; about the cost, the venue, or the format; some were
just critical. But overall, critics were few in number.
Most participants were more realistic and conscious of the facts. On the
commercial market, a two-day conference of this quality and venue costs three
times what was charged for YMLC 2001. If the paepae is left open and not
controlled, it is impossible to keep to the tight time schedule necessary to
meet the needs of our guest speakers.
A few participants would have preferred a different venue.
They stated that such a conference should have been held on a marae and better
conform to their understanding of kawa and tikanga. Yet the same people were
also critical of the almost universal tikanga that requires rangatahi and taiohi
to respect the decisions of their elders. If a conference is held at a marae,
most of the real costs are ‘below the line’ and are met by te iwi kainga. We
expect that on reflection, critics will appreciate that their comments had
little foundation, especially when considered in the light of pre-conference
publicity, which was well known. People registered for this conference knowing
full well who would speak, what they would speak on and the order of
proceedings. They always had the choice to stay away.
The programme for this conference was carefully constructed to cover two
major issues relating to leadership. The first day was primarily devoted to
leadership development and the intergenerational transfer of leadership. The
second day concentrated on leadership in action. Speakers were chosen from a
wide range of sectors, disciplines and iwi, and ranged from the Prime Minister
Helen Clark to other politicians, clerics, senior public servants, iwi leaders,
businessmen, academics, lawyers and other professionals. Young leaders at the
hui had ample opportunity to participate through question time after each
speaker or panel and in the six concurrent workshops on day two.
that leadership does not develop in a vacuum, speakers were chosen from amongst
Maoridom's current leadership who were able to present a wide range of
experiences, ideas and perspectives to the next generation of leaders. On the
first day, devoted to leadership development and transfer, presenters included
participants at Young Maori leadership conferences last century including Bishop
Manuhuia Bennett, Turoa Royal, Sir Graham Latimer and Ihakara Puketapu. To
critique Government strategies in leadership development over the last two
decades we had a panel comprising two former Chief Executives of the Department
or Ministry of Maori Affairs, Ihakara Puketapu and John Clarke, and the current
Chief Executive of Te Puni Kokiri, Leith Comer. This first day included time
devoted to the Raukawa trustees tribal development strategy Whakatupuranga Rua
mano that was presented by Petina Winiata and Turoa Royal of Te Wananga o
Raukawa. The Associate Minister,
Hon Tariana Turia, spoke to the topic ‘What Our Community Expects From Its
Leaders’. Restoration and the
intergenerational transfer of leadership is an integral part of Maori leadership
development. Many of today’s leaders spoke about how the mantle of leadership
had passed to them and encouraged young people to prepare themselves well for
the inevitable transfer of leadership to them.
second day was mainly devoted to Leadership in Action. Participants were asked
to envisage the society they wanted their children and mokopuna to inherit; to
look forward to the years 2020 and 2040 and set specific goals and discuss
appropriate strategies to achieve them. The
F.I.R.S.T. Foundation wanted more
direct input from younger adults in planning for Ngai Tatou 2020, and to
integrate these development strategies with the longer-term view of the New
Zealand Maori Council’s proposals for the second centenary of the Treaty of
Waitangi in 2040. Some sessions on day two were devoted to concurrent workshops
which participants were required to select at time of registration. Very well
qualified practitioners in their fields convened the workshops. Workshop members
discussed existing information, set specific sectorial goals and discussed ways
of measuring progress towards those goals.
in each of the six concurrent workshops discussed existing knowledge on their
broad topic, tried to set preferred goal outcomes, strategies and reviews with
Ngai Tatou 2020 and Rua Rautau planning strategies. The workshops were
Indigenous People and Justice, Indigenous Rights; Governance and Accountability;
Water: Values; Uses and Rights; Land Resources, Maximising Uses and Benefits;
Health and Indigenous Peoples; Language, Education and Identity; Relationships;
Children, Whanau and Community. The workshops then reported back to a plenary
session of the conference where ideas and proposals from all the workshops were
scrutinized by all present.
All registered participants, speakers, panellists and others associated
with ‘Hui-a-Taiohi, 2001 -Young Maori Leaders Conference, 2001’ receive a
bound copy of conference proceedings. This includes an electronic copy in CD
format. The proceedings were included in the individual registration fee. Copies
are also available for public libraries, research institutes and other
educational institutions from F.I.R.S.T.
major policy needs emerged from the YMLC 2001. They relate to -
Networking and Information Transfer
The Challenge of Personal and Community Introspection
Community Leadership Development and,
Medium Term and Long Term Strategic Planning
Foundation proposes a programme integrated into a wider capacity-building
strategy which relies on an multi-pronged approach to leadership. Such an
approach combines iwi, regional, national and inter-national networking with
skill and applications and other aspects of leadership development. The
Foundation proposes the following for policy consideration:
policy developments that relate to this conference should consider how to
maximize the benefits of networking to all parties concerned, and what sort of
promotion of opportunities to networking are appropriate. Decisions about the
frequency and format of such opportunities should take into account the
integrated nature of leadership development and the roles exercised by a network
of well-informed hapu/iwi communities and Maori leaders. There was a clear need
and call for more frequent YMLC in future. Integrating them into a future
development strategy such as Ngai Tatou 2020, Rua Rautau (or at a regional
level, Ngai Tahu 2025) is recommended, as is involving younger cohorts of
potential Maori leadership. Another proposal about networking is to take the
concept of YMLC to regional hui as was done in the 1960s following on from the
1959 YMLC. Many iwi do not have the
financial or human resources to go it alone in leadership development, but
through regional and national hui, they can share resources and increase their
capacity for hapu and iwi leadership, as The Raukawa Trustees have done in their
1975-2000 development strategy ‘Whakatupuranga Rua mano’. This would meet
the expectation of kanohi ki te kanohi networking so highly valued by Maori.
Regular Young Maori Leadership Conferences.
final plenary session unanimously resolved that there be more, regular Young
Maori Leadership Conferences in future. Some participants wanted another such
conference in 2002. The F.I.R.S.T. Foundation
recommends that they be integrated into their Ngai Tatou 2020 strategy and the
Rua Rautau strategy proposed by the NZ Maori Council. This would mean a
Nationwide Young Maori Leadership Conference at least every five years to
coincide with the release of information from the quinquennial Census of
Population and Dwellings (NZ census enumerations are held in years ending in 1
and 6; the next census will be in 2006). Future YMLC should use the issues and
data of the day to facilitate young Maori leadership development and information
transfer. This would be enhanced by the kanohi ki te kanohi interaction implied.
further recommend that regional young leaders’conferences be held in the next
two years aimed at attracting younger Maori men and women (aged 16-22) who would
normally be engaged in secondary or tertiary study or at the beginning of their
adult working careers. At these weekend hui, which would be residential,
participants at the YMLC 2001 from each region would act as facilitators and
lead discussions. Naturally there will be adjustments to the hui programmes from
that of YMLC 2001 to recognise the different experiences and needs of these
with Government’s Capacity- Building policy, Regional hui would be expected to
provide these major benefits
of leadership potential
and iwi leadership development
ki te kanohi interaction
final proposal emanating from YMLC 2001 presents Government with the opportunity
to promote and support an intense, integrated and long-term leadership
development strategy through the Social Leadership Programme offered by a
specific institution, the primary focus of which will be Leadership.
problems of last century, as discussed at previous YMLC are still with us. Other
problems have been added which relate to our predominantly urban life-styles and
our greater interface with the rest of the world, as noted by Bishop Bennett and
Sir Graham Latimer above. None of the above strategies on their own will provide
the cadre of social and community leaders that will be required. To steer New
Zealanders to the end goals of medium and long-term development strategies which
better integrate Maori ideas into the nation and which have been called for by
Ihakara Puketapu, Sir Graham Latimer and other leaders, requires a more
comprehensive effort. Any
suggestion that integrated leadership can be developed by two day hui every
now-and-again is unrealistic. What is required is a sustained programme of
leadership development, which requires close interaction over two years rather
than two days.
F.I.R.S.T. Foundation also proposes
establishing The New Zealand Leadership Centre (NZLC) in association with a
tertiary institution. The Centre
would offer one and two year hands-on leadership programmes. The one-year
intensive programme in social and community leadership involves competitive
selection followed by approximately 20 days per year of lectures/field work,
plus written assignments. Successful graduates would be eligible to join the
NZLC Alumni. It would have a similar standing to other Executive Diplomas. The
two-year programme has an entry requirement of successful completion of the
first year and current membership of the NZLC Alumni. It would involve an
additional programme of meetings, lectures and assessed field assignments spread
over a further year and would be equivalent to an executive MBA except that the
programmes are centred on leadership development rather than specific business
skills. Students and graduates of the first two years would have their programme
of studies integrated into other Maori leadership strategies, including regional
leadership hui and the proposed International Indigenous Peoples Congress in
2004 to review the U.N. International Decade for Indigenous Peoples, a
development strategy which was sponsored by New Zealand at the General Assembly.
leadership policies and strategies arise from this hui and are adopted, we leave
you with some of the wisdom of Sir Graham Latimer, which he imparted to
‘So we will go into the new world that you will lead us into and we
must be prepared to work hard to listen to the people. The hardest job is to
listen to the people. To listen to the people, to pick up the challenge and take
your race forward into tomorrow that is the challenge that you are fighting now,
you must lead and you must take responsibility’.
‘The people will need your guidance far greater over the next fifty
years than ours did in the past. We
were in an era where we didn’t have motorcars, we never had dope we never had
all these extras that come along in life’.
‘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’.
‘Power is like an intoxicating liquor, too much of it and it goes to
your head. So learn to cultivate that power’.
‘The world in front of us, it is your responsibility. You must develop
that world so that our people who follow you in days to come will be equally as
proud of their position within this country as we are today’.
‘Its like this; if you don’t lead you will be led. You must lead but
if you don’t you will be led’.
‘If you think you can’t do it, then you won’t do it. But if you
think you can do it then you should do it’.