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Ngā Tuituinga o te Pōtae: Rangatahi perspectives of leadership within Ngāti Maniapoto

Research on youth leadership development is often saturated by adult perceptions and thus the literature often lacks youth voice and youth perspective on what integral areas are needed for successful youth leadership development. This research focuses on the rangatahi of Ngāti Maniapoto and their perspectives of leadership within the iwi to aid the gap in academic literature relating to youth perception of leadership development. Maniapoto has an abundance of leadership examples from the plethora of tūpuna that have developed the iwi to the leaders of contemporary Maniapoto pushing the iwi forward. The purpose of this research is to delve into the perspectives of rangatahi Maniapoto that pertain to good leadership qualities, their perception of leadership, unique leadership styles within Maniapoto, rangatahi leadership skills and perspectives of youth development within the iwi. By interviewing rangatahi with strong connection to Maniapoto this information of their perspectives revealed four integral areas of rangatahi leadership development were collated into a model for dissemination and use within the iwi for youth development practices. This model is named Ngā Tuituinga o te Pōtae and has four areas, education, collective, communication and vision. Education was identified by rangatahi as they found that learning Maniapoto reo and tikanga was integral for a Maniapoto leader, in addition they saw an opportunity to establish a wānanga to future proof our Maniapototanga. A collective approach to leadership was highlighted as the rangatahi perceive that Maniapoto leaders need to be well known in the community and have good relationships with iwi members to be successful. Rangatahi reported that communication was an important attribute for leaders to have, not just speech but communicating by doing was essential for a Maniapoto leader. Finally, rangatahi explained that leaders need to have a vision for the taiao and a vision for our people to be a successful leader, and be able to take the iwi to a place they have not been to before. This study adds to the scarce literature on youth perceptions on youth leadership development and definitively answers the question on how rangatahi of Maniapoto perceive leadership and how rangatahi of Maniapoto would develop leadership within Te Nehenehenui. The key findings presented in this thesis indicate that rangatahi from Maniapoto engage and identify leadership in many ways, however they do agree that leadership development is necessary for Maniapoto to flourish in the future. Applying this model and research within the iwi will create new foundations for leadership to grow within Maniapoto, and fill the gap of leadership for the iwi that rangatahi have identified.
Type of thesis
The University of Waikato
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