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Honouring Māori women leaders

16 June 2008

Honouring Māori women leaders

Leadership does not always involve being in the spotlight, and He Wāhine Pūmanawa is a wonderful opportunity to honour some of our less well-known Māori women leaders, Women’s Affairs Minister Steve Chadwick said today.

“The women we are celebrating tonight work passionately for their communities. Their backgrounds are varied and their work extends far, from education and Kohanga Reo, to nursing, to advocating for their iwi and communities,” Steve Chadwick said.

Steve Chadwick tonight paid tribute to eight members of the Māori Women’s Welfare League at a ceremony to mark He Wāhine Pūmanawa (an event held as part of Mana Wāhine Week), organised by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, the Māori Women’s Welfare League, and Te Puni Kōkiri.

“Atiria Ake, Edith Mihaere, Doreen Erueti, Kiri Scott, Maria Parore-Larsen, Tatiana Pimm, Evelyn Taumaunu and Irene Mokai are all remarkable women, with more than 300 years membership of the League between them.

“Tonight we recognise their immeasurable contribution to their whānau, hapū, iwi, communities, to the League, and to Aotearoa New Zealand as a whole.

“They remind us that leadership which may not always be high profile, is just as valuable as leadership that is at the forefront of change.

“These women underscore the importance of leadership throughout the League, in each of its regions. They walk beside more well-known leaders, like Dame Whina Cooper, whose role as the League’s founding President was just one part of an extraordinary life of passion, leadership and service.

“Women like Dame Cooper stand as beacons and we need to remember their enduring gifts to our country, but tonight we honour all leaders, both those in the public eye and those working tirelessly behind the scenes.”

The women are representatives from the eight Māori Women’s Welfare League regions.

ENDS

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