Talanoa he vā māfana : an indigenous Tongan approach to leadership

Type of content
Journal Article
Publisher's DOI/URI
Thesis discipline
Degree name
Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Paea, Mele Katea
Manu‘atu, Linitā
Rohorua, Halahingano
Rohorua, Fred
Fa'avae, David Taufui Mikato
Paea, Sione

Based on a study of Tongan leadership practices in the New Zealand Public Service, a question was asked as to what could be an appropriate approach to exploring leadership from a Tongan perspective. This paper discusses talanoa he vā māfana as a concept useful in developing an approach upon which to explore the ideas of leadership that are exercised by Kakai Tonga (Tongan people) across given contexts. Drawing upon Tongan language and culture, talanoa he vā māfana is unpacked through three different ways or forms of talanoa – talanoa mo e loto (talking from the heart and soul), pō talanoa (peaceful dialogue), and talatalanoa (ongoing dialogue). Talanoa he vā māfana extends beyond the existing talanoa research approach, enabling conversations that engage with and embrace the loto, heart and soul of the people. It also provides a Tongan perspective on, and new insights into qualities of meaningful leadership within non-indigenous organisations.

Ngā upoko tukutuku/Māori subject headings
ANZSRC fields of research
CC BY 4.0