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Ensuring success breeds success

Ensuring success breeds success

Associate Maori Affairs Minister Tariana Turia says Dame Kiri Te Kanawa’s public criticisms of Maori culture raise important issues for Maori leadership.

“Dame Kiri is a hugely talented Maori woman of Ngati Porou descent who was raised among Ngati Maniapoto, and our people have been very proud of her and her achievements. She has been a beacon of hope to her people, and a role model for our young ones,” she said.

“There are a huge number of incredibly talented Maori with very positive and determined attitudes, doing extremely well, just as Dame Kiri did - including opera singers with international careers, athletes and sportsmen, business people and artists – too many to name.

“The huge majority of our people are very hard workers in their communities, often behind the scenes where outsiders don’t see them. The census shows that Maori women do the highest levels of voluntary work.

“Our communities work hard to put things in place, so people with talent get the opportunities to develop. We love success. We like to feel that individual personal achievement is part of our collective achievement as a people.

“One person’s success can promote success for others. We like successful people to inspire others, as Dame Kiri has for many of her people.

“The best thing is when anyone who achieves remembers all those who advised and guided and supported them, directly and indirectly. They consider how to acknowledge that support, and try to return something to their roots to nurture coming generations,” said Mrs Turia.

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