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Mayfair Rangatira

A term that encapsulates leadership both from a traditionalist and contemporary perspective is Rangatira. In traditional society the rank of rangatira was determined by birth right, whereas in contemporary society rangatira is more commonly achieved.

In Māori culture, leadership or chieftainship was determined by combinations of recognised leaders and collective inputs (Marsden 1988.) Each waka that originally migrated to Aotearoa had large numbers of people on board from which emerged the first leaders or Rangatira. These leaders were not originally considered chiefs in Hawaiiki but performed great achievements throughout the waka migration earning great mana and rank. 

All Māori (male, female, children) worked together wherever possible, side by side, whanau by whanau, in everyday tasks. Larger and more diversified labour forces worked under the guidance or direction different classes of leaders (Metge 1967).

The Mayfair Rangatira group is an optional group for Staff and Governors to join. This group is not formed or based on using a Eurocentric leadership style. It uses a contemporary Māori leadership kaupapa. The following list of guidelines outline a variety of contemporary skills a Mayfair Ranagtira possesses in our community:

  • The strength of a leader is the strength of the group.

  • A leader is a “kanohi kitea”, that is the leaders face is often seen among the people


  • A leader should serve the people, care for the people, listen to the peoples and speak on

    behalf of the people.

  • From a traditional, contemporary, and futuristic perspective the primary obligation of a

    leader is to ensure the continuity and development of Māori society and culture.

  • The leader who stands within a pa tuwatawata (fortified pa) or close to his people is a strong leader, whereas a leader who is cast adrift from the people is easily assimilated, manipulated, and intimidated by others.

  • A leader strives to enhance and strengthen the integrity of Māori society and culture.

  • A leader has mandate from the people and is therefore accountable to the people.

  • A leader is the servant of the people.

  • The modern leader needs to consult frequently with the iwi.

  • Modern leadership is dependant upon reliable flows of information and advice.

  • Leadership requires cooperation between traditional leaders and specialists.



Marsden, M. (1988). The Natural World and Natural Resources; Maori Value Systems and Perspectives. Wellington, New Zealand, Ministry for the Environment: 30.

Metge, J. (1967). Rautahi: The Maoris of New Zealand. London, Great Britain, Routledge: Taylor and Francis Group.

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