How great it is to see the growth of Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori each and every year. While we try to use te reo Māori as much as we can as part of our every day, this week kaimahi have particularly enjoyed celebrating the beauty of our reo Māori.

It was also timely to this week announce our emcee for Whānau Ora Symposium – Ngahiwi Apanui. Ngahiwi (Ngāti Porou, Te Whānau a-Apanui, Ngāti Hine) is a te reo champion, musician, radio broadcaster, educationalist and the current Chief Executive of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori – The Māori Language Commission. His tenure at the commission has been underpinned by manaakitanga – caring for new and potential learners of te reo, taunaki – using evidence to inform the commission’s approach, and whakawhanaungatanga – using commonalities as the basis for the inclusion of all New Zealanders in te reo Māori revitalisation.

Prior to joining Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, Ngahiwi was Deputy Director Māori at Ako Aotearoa, a Board member of the NZ Music Commission, Station Manager at Radio Ngāti Porou and a member of Ngā Kaiwhakapūmau i te Reo.

Ngahiwi Apanui

We feel very honoured to have Ngahiwi with us at Symposium 2023 and already know he will be a crowd favourite. Ngahiwi and I have known each other for more than 10 years and when he agreed to be the emcee and found out that Matua Pati Umaga was also attending, he regaled me with stories about their friendship. It was a reminder of the small world we live in.

This year’s symposium will include both guest speakers and expert panellists spread across a wide range of topics. This week, we take the opportunity to introduce our Whānau Hauā Ora and Rangatahi panellists.

Hei tērā wiki!

Kia pai tō wā whakatā


Haamiora Samuel Te Maari

Matua Haamiora (Ngāti Kahungungu) is a well-known leader and advocate for tāngata turi and has long as been working to get better outcomes for tāngata turi and turi Māori. Based in Ōtautahi, he is a trustee and advisor for Ko Taku Reo, serves on the Rōpū Kaitiaki advisory board for the New Zealand Sign Language Board and serves on the Deaf Reference advisory group for the Royal Commission. He is also chair of Tū Tangata Turi o Aotearoa, an advisor to partner group Deaf Action and is on the tāngata turi wānanga committee for the National Hui Maōri Deaf 2023. Matua Haamiora is also a recently signed Whānau Ora Navigator partner and we are excited to work with him and tāngata turi.

Fonoti Pati Peni Umaga, QSM

Matua Pati (Ngāti Hāmoa) is known for his significant contributions to the music industry. As well as being recognised for his compositions and abilities on a bass guitar, Matua Pati is particularly passionate about advocating for the Pacific and Whaikaha communities. He believes music is a way to empower the Whaikaha community by making them feel connected, included, capable and proud.

Jessica Hita

Jess (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kahu) is a lawyer and with husband Tuhoro they have two tamariki, Te Ata Hāpara and Te Aurere. The whānau of four always had the dream of owning their own home but the dream meant moving out of the home they shared with their support base of extended whānau. Jess shares her insights on navigating big life changes, whilst continuing to learn with their boy Te Aurere on his takiwātanga journey.

Tania Kingi

Currently completing her doctoral studies, Tania (Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Pūkeko, Te Arawa) is a long-time member and representative of Te Roopu Waiora, a unique kaupapa Māori organisation founded and governed entirely by whānau hauā. With a wide range of roles and experiences in the disability sector and Māori advancement, Tania is leading several trail-blazing and national social enterprises, designed and led by whānau hauā. Tania’s research in traditional Māori and indigenous responses to disability is central to several Waitangi Tribunal claims.

Wairemana Campbell

Wairemana (Ngāti Hauiti, Te Ati Haunui a Pāpārangi, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Toa, Whakatōhea, Ngāti Porou, Te Whānau ā Apanui) is an indigenous practitioner, educator, artist, human rights advocate, agent for change, clinical, cultural, wairua supervisor, rongoā and body work specialist, business innovator, resultant, māmā, and whānau hauā Ora kaitiaki! The whakapapa journey of the Whānau Hauā Ora Kaitiaki kaupapa (Māori, Pasifika, Turi) focuses on realising Te Whai National Initiative as a pathway to shift control and choice (Mana me te Moni) back to whānau hauā within the context of health and disability reforms, including the Pae Ora legislation, while prioritising transforming lives above, and alongside transforming systems and the journey ahead.

Oceana Olsen

Oceana (Ngā Puhi and Te Rarawa) is in her third year at University of Canterbury studying a Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in Graphic Design. Born with a disability, she hopes to inspire and become a voice for others who are made to feel different in a world that does not  support diversity. Oceana hopes to become an advocate to create a positive change for future generations to come.

Ella Sargent

After beginning her te reo Māori journey in 2021 and identifying various language-learning barriers, Ella (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Pākau) was inspired to establish a new community, Manawa Māori. Ella’s ultimate vision for Manawa Māori is to be a welcoming, safe hapori where people from various walks of life can come together to learn and speak te reo Māori without fear of being judged or having any prior knowledge or experience. Ella is proud to be a part of the revitalisation movement of te reo Māori and looks forward to continuing her language journey alongside others.

Nic Sinnott

Nic (Ngāti Tūwharetoa, and Ngāti Kahungunu ki Te Wairoa) is a fifth-year medical student who is a keen te reo Māori learner. He hails from Ngāti Tūwharetoa, and Ngāti Kahungunu ki Te Wairoa, but largely grew up in Dunedin. Nic is one of many students who have studied te reo Māori alongside medicine and received his level seven diploma in Te Pīnakitanga ki te Reo Kairangi in 2021. He, along with his peers, created and taught a fully student-led eight-week reo Māori course for medical and dental students and staff called Te Reo Kia Ora.