100 Inspiring Māori Health Leaders

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100 Māori Leaders is a website that holds a collection of amazing diverse stories of 100 Māori leaders in Health.  The website is a great starting point for people interested in learning about the variety of work available in the health sector.  The leaders’ profiles also provide examples of the important contributions Māori working in health have made regionally, nationally, and internationally.

“there is a…collective [of] experience and knowledge and understanding there that would greatly benefit anyone that needs that kind of sustenance” (Neil Rogers, Te Kīwai Rangahau, Te Rau Ora)

Many Māori leaders show humility, described in the whakataukī (proverb) kāore te kumara e kōrero mō tōna ake reka – the sweet potato does not broadcast its sweetness.  Rather it is up to others to speak about the kumara.  In light of this, the process of selecting potential leaders started at a grassroots level.  Since the inception of the website, Te Rau Ora has collected recommendations of potential leaders from community members and people working in the health sector across the country.  Once a potential leader was determined, finding the appropriate person to write their profile was key.  Profile writers were people who know the leaders well, not only their achievements but insights into what the leaders are like as people. For instance, Tā Mason Durie’s profile was written Lady Arohia Durie. Kim Hinetotorirangi Kaua Whaanga-Kipa and Manny Kipa wrote each other’s profiles.

The experience of working with the leaders and the profile writers have been great for Te Rau Ora:

“Over the whole 100, there is a kindness, a consideration for other people.  He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.  That is a feeling I get with each of those people” (Neil Rogers, Te Kīwai Rangahau, Te Rau Ora)

Te Rau Ora staff tips for using the 100 Māori Leaders website:

  • If you are studying a health subject, look up leaders who have expertise in your area of interest. You could learn from their experiences or gain greater awareness of Māori working in your field.  Those people undertaking post-graduate studies may find a potential supervisor.  Many of the leaders have research articles on the Te Rau Ora database Te Ipu Whakahaua.
  • Due to their knowledge, it is not unusual for many of the leaders profiled in 100 Māori leaders to be guest speakers at events or to provide commentary on a health issue in the media. For example,  Sir Mason Durie (Māori Mental Health & Whanau Ora ) and Kataraina Jean Te Huia (Māori midwifery).  Reading leaders profiles can provide an introduction to who the leader is at a personal level; learning the journey leaders have taken can help people see the connections between themselves and the leaders.
  • Some of the Māori leaders have been allocated whakatauki by her/his profile writer, these whakatuaukī add depth to their profiles while also providing examples of how you could use the whakataukī:
  • Dr Diana Rangihuna-KopuaKa warera te ware, ka area te rangatira (Ignorance is the oppressor, vigilance is the liberator)
  • Dr Dianne WepaHe toka tūmoana he ākinga nā ngā tai (A standing rock in the sea, lashed by the tides)
  • Materoa MarKa kohi te toi, ka whai te maramatanga (When knowledge is gathered, enlightenment will follow)
  • Rāwiri PeneNau te rourou nāku te rourou ka ora ai te iwi (With your basket and my basket together we will flourish)
  • Hemaima HughesNāu te rākau, nāku te rākau, ka mate te hoariri (Your weapon and my weapon will dispose of the enemy)
  • Wayne BlissetTohaina ō painga ki te ao (Share your gifts with the world)