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Hannah Tamaki on Standing for MWWL Presidency

17 June 2011

I am very proud to be one among eight Maori women standing for the presidency of the MWWL. Through the media, I am aware that my standing has attracted criticism from a few individuals. I wish to address that issue.

I am standing in my own right, as a woman with a proud Maori heritage. I am a mother and grandmother of 10. The best part of my life has been dedicated to empowering others – particularly Maori.

That motivation is proven through what I have achieved alongside my husband, in building from nothing, a nationwide church movement that has made a real difference in the lives of many – especially Maori.

I believe in the inherent potential of all New Zealand women. Again, that is validated over my lifetime of support towards women and their whanau.

On that basis, the mahi of the MWWL is not new to me.

Now turning to the MWWL, I have been an active financial member of a local branch for three years. Not 10 minutes, as some have said.

My mother was a member of the League.

My standing is based on the passion, skills and energy I believe I can bring to the table to move the MWWL forward.

Now I wish to address the issues:

My standing is NOT a ‘Destiny’ takeover. The membership of the League is made up of women from many faiths, lifestyles, backgrounds and common-interests.

Destiny women have been involved in the MWWL for many, many years. In fact, their encouraging me to stand is a part of the reason why I am standing.

I want to be clear. My standing is NOT about Destiny Church. It is about what I have to offer the League based on my experience at a leadership level.

What has been very encouraging though, since my nomination, is the contact I have had from non-Destiny MWWL members and branches expressing their support for me standing.

The notion that my standing is about funding Destiny Church is also completely untrue.

The League’s allocation of funding is for its own vision and initiatives. The League has its own Executive that mandates its own direction.

I’ll also state now, that if I am successful, I will donate the entire salary allocated to the president to the work of the MWWL.

I know my role within the organisation would be scrutinized more than most. And I welcome it.

However, I have been shocked and disappointed with the reactions of one or two who have taken exception to my standing.

The MWWL was established to give Maori women a voice.

Sadly, according to a select few, that right applies to some Maori women, but not others.

Nevertheless, I made a decision to stand and I will follow through on that commitment.

If I am successful, my immediate goals are to:
1. Raise the profile of the MWWL
2. Increase its membership amongst all NZ women
3. Improve the wellbeing of New Zealand women and their whanau through the MWWL initiatives and resources
4. Increase the participation of Rangatahi (younger generation)

I now wish to conclude by reading the Creed of the MWWL, which in essence, sums up my desire for standing.

My first love is my family but I know my tribe
I know my tribe but I am proud of my race
I am proud of my race but I am not racist
Therefore I belong to my race but I would serve my nation
I would serve my nation but I have a reverence for humanity
Because I have a reverence for all humanity
I would oppose inhumanity anywhere and everywhere
It is because I have this reverence for humanity that I grieve for all who now suffer,
I pray for all mankind
It is because I believe in God that I have this reverence for humanity.

My family, my tribe, my race, my nation
Let this be my vision for the future
My extended family
All Creeds, All Races, All nations
Let this be my new world
A part of my own humanity.

In the beginning was God
All things were made by Him
And as many as were made by Him
And as many as received Him
To them He gave power to become His children

This is my destiny
This is my prayer

That is all I wish to say at this point.
Thank you.


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