I want to live in a society that is courteous and polite. But I want something more than that. You see a polite society can still be a cold society. And we need more warmth, more kindness, and more (dare I say it) love,” states MATTHEW GAN.
“We need conversation about our current realities of inclusion and exclusion, acknowledging our past, and looking to our future. What will it take for us, for me, to dare to explore this,” ponders GINA WILLIAMSON.
“This retreat was a reminder of many small and large steps of courage taken to get us here. It also showed other steps that might improve the space we’re in - for ourselves and our loved ones and our communities,” writes EUGENE ELISARA.
“Leaders as Healers repurposes existing euro-centric knowledge and demands a re-alignment. It questions purpose and meaning in a life lived according to a linear clock, one that is dictated by needs that are increasingly becoming irrelevant in the face of a world keening at the unfolding tragedy across the land,” shares DIONE JOSEPH.
“I am cognizant that my workplace and my country are at a crossroads where great care, acts of kindness and bravery are required to create and restore the safe space where all can flourish,” says ROSE FENTON.
“Ultimately, the pre-planned session was forgotten….We wrapped our arms around each other as the rest of the cohort wrapped around us in a circle and sang to our pain. Tears ran down my eyes. I was not the only one,” reflects VICTOR RODGER.
“As champions of daring leadership, this year we will look across our spheres of influence and operating systems to see them with new eyes and think about what a leap in leadership would look like. What we must do as a powerful ecosystem of leaders to help heal our nation #leadersarehealers, to build true relationships of understanding, tolerance and love.”
“New paths are being built, new eyes are being opened and new connections are anchoring me in a way I had never considered prior to taking the leap into this vaka with these amazing contemporaries and all of our ancestors,” reflects RAYMOND SAGAPOLUTELE on the first retreat of The Mana Moana Experience.
"This is such a deepening of spirit. We have shared tears, laughter and hugs. We have been digging for that deep essence of our leadership being." The first retreat of The Mana Moana Experience ignited a special fire inside for DR. CHERIE CHU.
There was so much to enjoy and to learn about Retreat Five. Coming together again with my new family. Learning and sharing new stories. But for me, it was these experiences, these moments that have endured.
When we first got together as a group in February, I was struck by what an impressive, confident and high-achieving group of people it is. What I didn’t fully appreciate then, but do now, is the extent to which the 2018 cohort reflects the diverse society we live in.
We have now reached the point in our Leadership NZ journey, that when the group meet, it’s like connecting with old friends. The 2018 cohort met enthusiastically at the idyllic Caccia Birch House in Palmerston North in anticipation of what lay ahead. Although a little chilly, the sun was to shine on us physically and mentally throughout the next two days.
We arrive into a shared space. Sit in front of invisible pou, bright morning sunlight memorializing silhouetted edges of a fale. Lounge furniture is backed up against the walls of a rectangle living room. Ula-draped photos of family, sports teams, choirs, da Vinci’s The Last Supper, white net curtains blowing across open windows. Every place we have ever sat in this way, is also here. Va tagata.