Meet the new co-chairs of the MIT Rūnanga: Eruera Lee-Morgan and Jonaan McLeod
Earlier this year, Eruera Lee-Morgan (Ngāti Naho, Ngāti Tamaterā, Ngāti Rangiwewehi, Tūhourangi) and Jonaan McLeod (Ngāti Rua, Ngāi Tamahaua o Te Whakatohea) were appointed as co-chairs of the MIT Rūnanga.
Both roles provide key Māori strategic advice and counsel to MIT leadership, management and governance and work alongside the other Rūnanga members - Brendon Green, Parehuia Enari, Tiparere Arthur and Wyndi Joy Tagi.
MIT Comms sat down with Eruera and Jonaan to discuss what they will bring to their new roles and hear what they would like to achieve in their new positions.
Te Rūnanga is defined as a collective of ruahine and ruānuku which comprise the wise counsel of matriarchal and patriarchal leaders of Māori communities, something Jonaan explains is not a new concept to Māori.
“We have implemented co-chairperson positions in 2021 to recognise te mana o te tane, me te mana o te wahine - we recognise the unique role that men and women play in leadership.”
Jonaan has been part of the MIT Rūnanga since 2015 and has considered her involvement ‘a privilege and an obligation to serve and advocate for our tauira, kaimahi and hapori.’
“Māori leadership is distinct from other models of leadership,” explains Jonaan. “‘Rangatira’ typically means 'leader,' but derives from the notion of raranga tira - the weaving of people together.”
“As co-chairs of the Rūnanga, we do not lead from the front, but from within the ranks, and it is critical to lead with, and not above. In moments of leadership, I am always reminded of our beloved Papa Kuu, and the many taonga that he gave to MIT. In particular, the tapestry of understanding is a strong anchor for leadership.”
Jonaan brings with her a wealth of experience in education, having worked at the University of Auckland for 10 years in various roles. More recently, she has worked in the public sector at Te Puni Kōkiri, Ministry of Māori Development, as a Business Analyst. She now serves her beloved South Auckland at Papakura Marae in senior leadership.
“It has always been my desire to return to the south and sit amongst my people, and understand needs, barriers and aspirations from a whānau-centred position,” she describes. “Heoi ano, noku te maringa nui tenei mahi rangatira mo tatou te iwi Māori. It is my privilege to be part of this mahi. But with every privilege comes an obligation to serve responsibly and bravely for our people.”
Jonaan and Eruera’s shared vision for the roles will be ensuring Māori succeed fully as Māori at MIT.
“Our role as Tangata Whenua in key stakeholder Māori governance is to ensure equitable outcomes for Māori at MIT underpinned by the articles and principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi,” explains Eruera.
“Our collegial strength as Rūnanga is complimented by our diverse skill set, experience and key relationships with our communities, whānau, hapū and iwi mana whenua, iwi taura here, mātā waka in order to achieve true and full tangata whenua co- governance at MIT board and governance level.”
Eruera studied journalism at Waiariki Polytechnic, before moving into Māori radio, television and film. He has spent the last 26 years in the media industry as an independent producer, director and full-time employee at Māori Television, Television New Zealand and Aotearoa Television Network, Mai FM and Radio Waatea. He also holds a role as Ngā Aho Whakaari Māori in the film, television and screen industry and a role as Pae Ārahi for Aotearoa Screen Publicists Collective.
Eruera will bring with him a significant amount of co-governance experience as member and co-chair of co-governance boards of Western Springs College / Ngā Puna o Waiōrea and PARS Boards.
Whakataukī by Kukupa Tirikatene ONZM
E kore e taea e te whenu kotahi ki te raranga i te whāriki,
Kia mōhio ai tātou ki a tātou,
Mā te mahitahi o ngā whenu,
Mā te mahitahi o ngā kairaranga ka oti tēnei whāriki.
I te otinga, me titiro tātou ki ngā mea pai ka puta mai,
Ā tana wā hoki me titiro ki aua raranga i makere,
Nō te mea, he kōrero anō kei reira.
The tapestry of understanding cannot be woven by one strand alone.
Only by the working together of strands and the working together of weavers will such a tapestry be completed.
With its completion let us look at the good that comes from it and, in time we should also look at those stitches which have been dropped because they also have a message.