Stories are the barometer of an organisation’s culture. If a leader wants to know the wairua (state or energy) of their organisation then listen to the stories about it. Organisations with cultures of bullying, sexism, prejudice, poor customer service or party hard attitudes fall over, lose reputations and customers.
Māori culture sits on values buried deep in the beliefs and attitudes passed down through the generations, the touchstone of identity and belonging, a well-spring of pride and inspiration. It has survived because of how it makes us feel. It is an emotional connection to what is important and what we stand for.
Whaikōrero is a taonga of immense mana so it must be regarded with respect and dignity. To be the spokesperson of the iwi carries responsibilities to do it to the best of one's ability. Being the face of the people and expressing their thoughts and ideas is not a frivolous task. Respect, care and aroha are vital if the iwi is to be represented well.