This article has been inspired by doctoral research that focused on the pathway to leadership for wāhine Māori. For the purpose of the study, a mana wahine theoretical framework was created to analyse the lived experiences and character of several Māori women leaders. Known in the study as the Moko Wahine framework, it is embedded in Māori cultural values. A key aspect of the Moko Wahine framework is the potential to strengthen the Indigenous identity of women leaders who are of Māori descent. This theoretical framework is drawn from the characteristics and values of Moerangi Ratahi, a Māori woman leader of Ngāti Awa who lived from the mid-1800s through to the late 1900s.