1. Farah Palmer
  2. Shirley Barnett

  1. School of Management, Massey University, New Zealand
  1. Farah Palmer, School of Management, Massey University, Private Bag 11222, Turitea Campus, Palmerston North 4410, New Zealand.
    Email: F.R.Palmer{at}massey.ac.nz


This paper takes a fresh look at Maori women and leadership through individual and collective storytelling. Stories or pubar;rākau
about Maori women leaders involved in environmental sustainability, employment rights, and sport are used to reveal the often
silenced realities of Maori women’s leadership and challenge dominant leadership discourse. Findings suggest mana wahine/the
power and authority of women is a critical element of Maori women’s leadership as well as values and concepts that feature
in traditional purakau and cultural roles for women. The holistic nature of Maori leadership was captured by considering three
interrelated and fluid spheres – leadership as influence, leadership in context and the performance of leadership. These stories
are a preface and we invite others to join the dynamic process of storytelling so that the plurality of Indigenous women’s
leadership perspectives, experiences and performances are recognised and celebrated.

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Karanga mai ra: Stories of Maori women as leaders