21-23 March 2018 Marlborough Convention Centre, BLENHEIM



Dame Tariana Turia

Hon Dame Tariana Turia was a New Zealand member of Parliament from 1996 until 2014.  She was Minister for Whānau Ora; disability Issues and the Community and Voluntary Sector.  She has also been Associate Minister in Health, Maori Affairs, Social Development, Child, Youth and Family; Housing, Corrections, Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment.

Dame Tariana has been a champion of rangatiratanga for Māori as well as advocating strongly for disabled persons and Pasifika communities.  Before entering politics, Dame Tariana was the chief Executive of Te Oranganui Iwi Health Authority (the longest and largest Māori Health Service provider in the Central Region).

Dame Tariana was co-leader of the Māori Party since its inception in 2004 until November 2014.  The Māori Party entered into a Relationship Accord with national in 2008.  From that Accord evolved significant gains, including a Ministerial committee on Poverty to which she became Deputy Chair.  Subsequently, Dame Tariana invested more than $65m into addressing and preventing rheumatic fever as a national, cross-government priority; extended home insulation for low income families and supported free doctors’ visits and medicine for children up to age 13.

Two of her greatest achievements are in Whānau Ora and tobacco reform.  Whānau Ora represents a transformation in the way services are designed and delivered, contracts arranged, and providers work together.  It is a bold and innovative approach which places the aspirations and outcomes for whānau at the centre.

Dame Tariana executed reforms to reduce tobacco consumption in all types of tobacco products and across all population groups.  The strategy has been a comprehensive campaign in all spheres of influence – health education, legislation, removal of tobacco displays, plain packaging, smoking cessation and successive tobacco taxation.  In 2015 the American Cancer Society awarded Dame Tariana the Luther L. Terry Award for Exemplary Leadership in Tobacco Control.

In 2010, Dame Tariana became the first recipient of a new award to be given every year to a key figure in Māori public health by the New Zealand Public Health Association.  The award was developed to acknowledge success and achievement in Māori public health and was name ‘Tu Rangatira mō te Ora’ to recognize leadership in Maori health.

Dame Tariana is the Patron of the Whanganui YWCA; Patron of New Zealand’s Weightloss Surgery Trust and a Mentor for ABI Rehabilitation New Zealand.  She is also the Chair of the Parihaka Settlement Trust, a Pou for the North Island Whānau Ora Commission Agency, Te Pou Matakana, a member of the independent Assessment Panel for the South Island Whānau Ora Commission Agency, Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu and a Life-member of CCS Disability Action.


Merepeka Raukawa-Tait

Te Arawa

Merepeka Raukawa-Tait is the Chair of Te Pou Matakana, the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency for Te Ika a Māui. She is a leading advocate for the rights of women & children and also a strong public voice in the campaign to understand and prevent family violence.

Based in in Rotorua, Merepeka is currently an elected member of both the Rotorua Lakes Council and the Lakes District Health Board.

She has a long and distinguished history of public service, having served as CEO of the West Auckland Hospice and rose to National prominence as the outspoken former CEO of Women’s Refuge.

Merepeka holds an MBA in International Management. She has a wealth of experience in the fields of business, management & politics, and is constantly in demand as a commentator and guest panelist, particularly around issues to do with Māori, health & welfare and social justice.

A sought after motivational speaker, mentor and consultant, Merepeka is the author of a long running and highly regarded newspaper column as well as serving as a board member and advisor to several not-for-profit organisations. She is passionate about encouraging and advancing the aspirations of Māori.


Hon. Peeni Henare

Ngāti Hine, Ngā Puhi

Hon Peeni Henare is the Member of Parliament for Tāmaki Makaurau, and is of Ngāti Hine and Ngāpuhi descent. He is the Minister for Community and Voluntary Sector, Minister for Whānau Ora, and Minister for Youth, as well as Associate Minister for Social Development. Prior to politics Peeni worked as a businessman, broadcaster and teacher.

Politics and public service is in his blood: his father was Erima Henare, who was head of the Māori Language Commission; his grandfather was Sir James Henare, a lieutenant colonel in the Māori Battalion, member of Te Rūnanga o te Tiriti o Waitangi, and Commander of the British Empire (CBE); and his great-grandfather Taurekareka (Tau) Henare was also a Member of Parliament, for the former electorate Northern Māori from 1914 to 1938.

Peeni is married to Maia, who’s a teacher, and they have five children.


Dr Lana Leslie-Henfling

Dr Lana Leslie-Henfling is a Kamilaroi woman on her Father’s side from North West and Central West New South Wales Australia; and Irish on her Mother’s side. For the last 10 years Lana has worked as an Academic at Macquarie University, the University of Sydney, and Western Sydney University teaching in various subjects such as Indigenous research, health inequalities and Indigenous leadership.

Prior to working in Academia, Lana worked for over 20 years in sport, recreation and fitness, the community sector and NSW Police. She has worked in various roles from grass roots service delivery, teaching children in junior sports programs, to management and consultancy, developing and writing organisational policy at State level and the not for profit sector.

Lana has a Bachelor of Social Science and a Master of Social Science both from Edith Cowan University and a PhD in Human Geography from Macquarie University. Currently Lana is developing research protocols for a not for profit organisation in Western Sydney.

She is also a Lecturer in the School of Allied Health at Australian Catholic University teaching in Cross Cultural Social Work and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and Social Work Practice.


Fonteyn Moses-Te Kani

Ngāti Rārua,  Ngai Tahu, Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Porou, Waikato-Tainui

Fonteyn Moses-Te Kani is Head of Strategic Relationships for Māori and Iwi at Westpac. She and her wife, Gena, live between Auckland and Hamilton and have five children and three mokopuna with another moko on the way.

She describes her specialty as partnership brokering for philanthropic, governmental and non-governmental organisations, particularly in the areas of business and community development.

Through planning, collaboration and partnerships, Fonteyn strives to create innovative ways to more sustainable growth that encourages and expands the five well beings that are important to Maori.


Dr Lorraine Eade

Ngāti Rārua,  Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Rangitāne,  Ngāti Tama, Te Atiawa,  Ngai Tahu,   Ngāti Koata, Ngāti Raukawa

Born and raised in Grovetown,  Lorr is heavily involved in supporting her iwi since the early 1990’s in either a Trustee,  General Manager,  Treaty Claims Advisor or as a Director of their subsidiary commercial entities.  

She has also been involved with the Wairau Pa Marae Committee,  Te Roopu Hauora Maori (Wairau Hospital Maori Advisory Group),  Ko Te Poumanawa ki Te Tau Ihu o Te Waka a Maui,   Maori Advisory Komiti Marlborough Polytechnic,  Marlborough Girls College Board of Trustees,  and an Iwi appointment to the Blenheim Care and Protection Resource Panel,  Iwi/Hapu carer group and   Te Runanganui o Te Tau Ihu o Te Waka a Maui. Lorraine and husband Dave also managed the Blenheim Child Youth and Family Home for a period of two years. 

Previous mahi includes Kaiwhakarite Te Puni Kōkiri,   Portfolio Manager Nelson Marlborough District Health Board,   Project Specialist Canterbury District Health Board,  and Children’s Team Director Oranga Tamariki. 

She is currently a student support tutor for the Massey University Te Rau Puawai programme and is on the Assessment Panel for Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu.

Lorraine has been working with Westpac for the last nine months as a Business Development Manager Te Waka a Maui. 


Dr Peter Meihana

Ngāti Kuia, Rangitāne, Ngāti Apa, Ngai Tahu

Peter was born and raised in the Wairau. He attended Marlborough Boys College and later studied at the University of Otago. Following a long hiatus, Peter returned to tertiary study in 2004.

His MA thesis discussed the origins of the Foreshore and Seabed Claim with particular reference to Ngāti Kuia’s involvement.

One response to the claim, perhaps the most enduring, was that Maori were a privileged people. Peter’s doctoral research interrogated the idea of Maori ‘privilege’; and, its role in the dispossession and ongoing marginalization of tangata whenua.

His current research explores the interface between science and oral tradition. Peter sits on committees for Ngāti Kuia and Ngāti Apa and is a former trustee of Te Runanga o Ngāti Kuia.   


Hinepounamu Apanui-Barr

Ngai Tahu

Hinepounamu was brought up in Wellington, but has always kept a strong connection to her home in Te Waipounamu where she is currently in her second year at Otago University studying law and commerce. 

Hinepounamu attended many rangatahi wānanga growing up and now plays an active role in rangatahi development within Te Rūnanga o Ngai Tahu’s Manawa Hou programme.

Hinepounamu is passionate about kapa haka, keeping fit and active and spending lots of time with friends and whānau.


Kaapua Smith

Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Apa, Ngai Tahu, Ngāti Awa

Kaapua Smith is Head of Sustainability at Contact Energy, and oversees the Environment, Communities, Sustainability and Property & Land functions of the business. Her background is in indigenous & Māori research, policy and communications. 

A mum of two sons, she is also graduate of the University of Auckland (UoA), and has worked for a range of indigenous and public/government organisations such as the International Institute for Māori and Indigenous Education and Ngā Pae o te Maramatanga Centre of Research Excellence at The University of Auckland where she was a researcher and project manager; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Ministry of Māori  Development as a policy advisor; and Maori Television as a researcher for current affairs programme Native Affairs, and presenter of her own reo Maori current affairs programme Ārero.

Immediately prior to joining Contact Energy a Senior Advisor to the Minister of Māori Affairs Hon Dr. Pita Sharples and Minister of Whanau Ora Hon. Tariana Turia. She is also a former Māori political commentator and has published a number of articles on Māori politics both for academic publications, and for media outlets in New Zealand.


Kiley Nepia

Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō, Rangitāne, Ngāti Kuia, Ngāi Tahu

Kiley Nepia was brought up at Omaka Marae during a time when the marae was preparing to build the first carved meeting house in Te Tauihu, Te Aroha o Te Waipounamu.

He was fortunate to be groomed and influenced by different kaumatua and iwi leaders in the area many of whom have passed on including his grandmother and matriarch of Omaka Marae, Kath Hemi. 

Kiley and his wife, Donna co-manage Omaka Marae. He is also the Cultural Advisor for Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō and is responsible for leading the language and cultural revitalisation of the iwi.

Kiley has been involved with Māori development, whānau transformation for many years designing and leading different kaupapa for his community.

He is passionate about marae development and language and culture revitalisation. Kiley is currently studying his Doctorate of Māori Development and Advancement at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiarangi.


Mana Williams-Eade

Ngāti Rārua, Ngāti Toarangatira

Kia ora my name is Mana Williams-Eade and I am a 20 year-old youth advocate born and raised in Blenheim. My background is as a care experienced young person.

When I was eight months old I went into the care system and was taken into the care of my aunty, Lorraine Eade, and at the age of 12 years-old was whāngai into the Eade whanau. When I was 16 years-old I got the opportunity to be a part of a youth advisory group that would answer to the former Minister for Social Development, Anne Tolley.

After working there for a couple of years the advice we gave transformed what was Child Youth and Family (CYFS) into Oranga Tamariki. In addition to that I was a part of another group of young people who helped setup an independent advocacy service called VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai, which is for and run by care experienced young people.

I am currently a student at Victoria University living in Wellington and am also working for Oranga Tamariki as the sports and recreation lead coordinator. I’m a keen cyclist, and really love public speaking, sometimes… 

Ngaa Rauuira.png

Ngaa Raauira Pumanawawhiti

Te Āti Awa, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Toarangatira, Ngā Rauru, Ngāti Kahungunu, Tūhoe, Muriwhenua, Lakota-Sioux

Ngaa Rauuira Puumanawahiti was born in Ōtaki and is a product of the Māori total immersion education pathway; Kōhanga Reo, Kura Kaupapa Māori, Wharekura Māori and Wānanga Māori.

He is also a product of the Whakatupuranga Rua Mano vision and strategy responsible for the revival and resurgence of Te Reo me ōna Tikanga among the three iwi of the ART Confederation of; Awa, Raukawa & Toarangatira.

He is a former graduate and lecturer of the Mātauranga Māori program delivered at Te Wānanga-o-Raukawa, specialising in Treaty Education.  

From 2010 to 2014 he was involved in the Constitutional Transformation Working Group and project Co-convened by Prof. Mākere Mutu & Moana Jackson which canvassed a wide cross-sector of Māori society, engaging various groups on their fundamental aspirations for a constitution in Aotearoa based on He Whakaputanga, Te Tiriti, Kawa & Tikanga Māori. 

Something which he considers to be ‘unfinished business’ and which he believes, lies at the heart of New Zealand’s social, political and economic destiny.


The Downes Whānau

Ati haunui a paparangi, Tuwharetoa ngā Iwi, Ngāti Uenuku, Ngāti Kurawhatia, Ngāti Haua.

James TeHerekiekie Downes - Born and raised in Taumarunui. Married 38 years to Moana, we have 4 children Jamie, Shane, Jenna and Jesse, and 12 mokopuna. I have always been passionate about raising children to be the best they can be - believing that whatever challenges the parent breaks through, the children won’t have to, therefore strengthening future generations.

For the past 4 years we as a whanau have been officially working in the health and social space, but prior to this we spent 28 years in business where all my children learnt valuable life skills; it became the perfect training ground.

Jamie Turama Tu Ahuriri Downes - Also born and raised in Taumarunui. Aged 14, I finished school to work in our whanau business - Westend Dairy. At 17 and with the support of the whanau we turned the old liquor store into the Powerhouse Youth centre, formalising our commitment to social service, especially with youth.

However, in 2009, clinically blind depressed and suicidal, I was taken on a journey of restoration to sight, self belief and healing - through visions, dreams and encounters with manu (birds). Out of this the “Whānau Manu” was developed and we now create/facilitate programmes for Oranga Tamariki, Corrections and previously Whānau Ora.