The price of leadership is loneliness

picture of a school of blue fish following a red fish

The expectations of Māori leadership are immense. Our people demand a fearless warrior who will fight on their behalf, intellectually, physically, spiritually and politically.

The role also requires a deepened broad cerebral capacity to visualise, plan, and build a team that can make the decisions and take the action that creates a brighter future for every one of our people.

Then there is knowledge in every facet of Iwi engagement be it Te Reo strategy; education, primary, secondary and tertiary health; or fishing quotas, investment, through to negotiation matrices.

Iwi leadership has its pressures but what warms me is the one question that is always with me: ‘Is what I am doing, about to do, or have done, the best for our people?”

If I can answer that affirmatively then I can’t go too far wrong. When a leader falters a whole tribe can stumble, but when the tribe awhi their leaders, then the weight of that pain is spread across many.

Sometimes of course, some people, just can’t hang in there for the short difficult journey ahead. That is when leadership comes to the fore, and the place in which leaders continue the journey on their own even as they journey into te rerenga wairua.

By Paora Stanley, CEO, Ngāi Te Rangi Iwi

“I write for Bay Waka because it heals my wairua.”