Wednesday, August 16, 2006

death of a leader

Our Maori queen, Dame Te Ata, died yesterday. Deeply loved and widely respected...

In one of the tributes I heard this morning it was said that she was "a leader who followed her people." What an intriguing comment. It has been distracting me all morning.

I wonder what it means...

nice chatting

Paul

4 comments:

Andrew Butcher said...

Try this for an interpretation:

A leader who follows his people is one who washes their feet when tradition says that they should wash his feet.

A leader who follows his people is one who travels with them for 40 years in a desert even though he could have told and taken them the shorter route.

A leader is one who completely redefines what it means to have and hold power and demonstrates that power on a cross, with a crown of thorns.

A leader follows his people when he doesn't stay distant and removed but comes to be with his people, becomes flesh, is born in a stable rather than a palace, lives in Nazareth rather than Rome, moves into the neighourhood and becomes one of us.

It completely revolutionises what we mean when we talk of leadership. And in a way maybe the Maori Queen did just that. "I came not to be served, but to serve."

Paul Windsor said...

No mucking around with you, Andrew ... you seem to have gone to the heart of why it is such an intriguing phrase. I think there is some resonance with the leadership style of Jesus.

Wendy Organ said...

Hey Paul,
It was nice to read your comments about TeArikinui Te AtairangiKaahu.

I'm sure you watched the coverage of her last day of Tangi yesterday on TV if you had a chance.

For me it was an opportunity and privilege to be on the Marae, on the Paepae to pay my final respects to a woman who brought about much change for Maoridom.

There were a few moments that wrapped around me like a Korowai (cloak) of the Lord's Spirit, which will stay with me always.
The early morning Karakia on the PaePae before daylight, standing on the edge of the River with a Nannie beside me calling out her Karanga of grief, which filled the air with a spirit of absolute sadness, and then pride as both river banks, which were filled with thousands and thousands of people erupted into continuos chant of 'Ka mate Ka mate' with passion, as they farewelled their Queen aboard Waka to Taupiri.
It deeply moved me, and for anyone else who was there, it was something never to be forgotten or replaced.

It is a tragedy to have lost our Maori Queen, but the way she lead her people reflected the Jesus I know. humble, patient, funny at times and always, always for the people.

May she now rest in peace.

Paul Windsor said...

Hi Wendy - I would love to have been there. Actually I have a blog posting burning within me about features of Maori culture and words in Maori language that, even as the novice that I am, seem to grasp what it means to be Christian far better than features of the pakeha world. I'll get to it one day...