Indigenous Wellbeing Conference

Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa

Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa (New Zealand)

6th - 9th Mei, 2024

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Nau mai, Haere mai!

Welcome to the Whaiora O Ngā Iwi taketake - Indigenous Wellbeing Conference.

May 6th 2024 we unite together on a journey that honors our indigenous heritage and strengthens our collected wairua(spirit) at the Whaiora O Ngā Iwi Taketake – Indigenous Wellbeing Conference and Gala night 2024.

Join us in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, NZ and celebrate our rich cultural heritage of Māori and World Indigenous Peoples, fostering a global movement for holistic wellbeing.

Expect Cultural Immersion, Expert Insights, Comprehensive Workshops, Special Events and Whaiora.


Experience Authentic
Māori Culture

Prestigious Opening Powhiri, Feast with Kapahaka, traditional cleansing, offering cultural insights and connections.  Learn more about the full programme schedule here.
Kaikawe kōrero

Learn from
Esteemed Speakers

Including Hon. Nanaia Mahuta, Rereata Makiha, Chadia Hajjar, Dr. Robert Joseph, Dr. Konai Thaman, Dr. Ash Puriri, and Bettina Danganbarr, on various aspects of hauora, Indigenous wellbeing.  


Voices of Resilience

Join us as our panel speakers share their experiences and insights on preserving Indigenous cultures and enhancing community well-being

Dr. Vavao Fetui
He Kōrerorero Tōrangapū

Political Panel

Explore unique experiences and insights within the Political Panel hosted by Hon. Nanaia Mahuta.  Wednesday 8th Mei 2024.

Ngā Wānanga

Engage in a range of workshops

Crafted to deepen connections and understanding of Indigenous knowledge and practices.  Checkout the Programme Schedule for more details.
Pō Whakangahau

Gala Night Dinner

Wednesday 8th Mei

Special Guest  Her Excellency, The Right Honorable Dame Alcyion Cynthia Kiro – Governor General of New Zealand

Conference Details

Registrations are closed


6th - 9th May 2024


Papakura Marae

Due Drop Event Centre




Programme Schedule

Each session has been carefully planned to ensure valuable insights in Indigenous wellbeing and meaningful discussions creating connections and understanding. Whether you’re here for the keynote speeches, the engaging workshops, or to experience Māori culture, there’s something for everyone. 


Rā Tuatahi

Monday, 6th May 2024

Rā Tuatahi (Day One) starts at Papakura Marae, with a prestigious traditional Powhiri opening the conference and setting the stage for a week of growth, whakawhanaungatanga(networking) and understanding.  Registrations will be available at Papakura Marae following the Opening Powhiri Ceremony.

Show Speakers Only

Show Workshops Only


Rā Tuarua

Tuesday, 7th May 2024


Rā Tuatoru

Wednesday, 8th May 2024


Rā Tuawha

Thursday, 9th May 2024

** Updated: 19th April2024 / Programme is subject to change,  Please check back for the most current and up to date programme or Subscribe to our Newsletter.

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Whaiora O Nga Iwi Taketake – Indigenous Wellbeing Conference is proudly brought to you by Te Hononga O Tamaki Me Hoturoa.

Call For Papers

Be a part of the Indigenous Wellbeing Conference by submitting your abstract.

Click Here to Submit Papers

If you have any questions or comments about the conference, please contact Te Hononga staff here:

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Hon. Nanaia Mahuta

As former MP Nanaia Mahuta served her constituency of Hauraki-Waikato for 27 years. She held various spokesperson roles and was the first woman to become Minister of Maori Development and Foreign Affairs. Nanaia has stewarded through several changes to advance Maori aspiration and she is particularly proud of increasing Maori representation around council decision-making tables, uplifting Maori economic participation through social procurement and profiling indigenous economies through indigenous collaboration agreements and specified chapters of the UK and EU free trade agreements. Nanaia is a mother, strategic adviser, mentor, independent director and a fledgling writer.

Dr. Konai Thaman

One of the longest serving staff of the University of the South Pacific (USP) before she retired Konai Helu Thaman holds a Personal Chair (from USP) in Pacific Education and Culture, and was the UNESCO Chair in Teacher Education and Culture from 1998-2016. She was born and raised in the Kingdom of Tonga where she received her primary and secondary education. 

She completed her secondary education at Epsom Girls Grammar School in Auckland before entering Auckland University where she completed her BA (Geography), and afterwards a Secondary Teaching Diploma before returning to teach at Tonga High School from 1969-71.

She later obtained her MA in International Education from the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) and a PhD in Education from the University of the South Pacific (USP). Konai and her husband Randolph joined USP in 1974 and are now both retired. Konai has researched and published widely in the areas of curriculum, teacher education, indigenous education, women and university management, and more recently Pacific research frameworks and education for sustainable development. She has held a number of senior management positions at the USP including Director of the Institute of Education (IOE), Head of the School of Humanities, and Pro Vice Chancellor. Until her retirement in 2020 she was a member of several international committees including the Joint ILO/UNESCO Committee on the Recommendation on the Status of Teachers (CEART); the Asia Pacific Centre for Educational Innovations in Development (APEID); the UNESCO Asia Pacific Scientific Committee on Research in Higher Education; and the UNESCO Global Monitoring Committee for the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD). 

In 2000 she and a small group of Pacific educators founded the Rethinking Pacific Education Initiative which has continued to be an important force in educational development in the Pacific Island region. Konai is also a poet whose work is studied by school children throughout the Pacific and beyond. Some of her poems have been translated into several languages including Chinese, French, German & Tongan. Five Collections of her poetry have been published: You the Choice of My Parents (1974); Langakali (1981); Hingano (1987); Kakala (1993) and Songs of Love (1999). Konai and her husband live in Suva, Fiji. They have two adult children and three grandchildren.

Rereata Makiha

Rereata Makiha, a respected figure with connections to Hokianga, Te Arawa, and Rangitane, has devoted his career to preserving and teaching Māori ancestral knowledge, focusing on astronomy and environmental science. His educational path began at Northland College, continued with social work at Victoria University, and was furthered with a Postgraduate Diploma in Business from Auckland University.

Known for his deep knowledge of the Maramataka, the Māori lunar calendar, Makiha has been crucial in sharing mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge), connecting traditional wisdom with today’s practices. His early learning in the whare wānanga, or traditional Māori institutions of higher learning, ignited a commitment to the oral histories and environmental insights of the Māori people​​​​.

During his eight years at Hokianga Wananga Korero Tuki Iho and throughout his retirement, Makiha has continuously taught korero tuku iho, using the ancient wisdom of the whare wānanga to educate. He organizes wānanga in Tamaki and Hokianga, conducted twice a month for ten months each year, spending his remaining time on golf​​.

Makiha has also focused on Indigenous wellbeing, showing how mātauranga Māori can improve health and sustainability. Through the maramataka, he encourages communities to live in harmony with the environment and understand the natural world better​​.

His work earned him the title of Senior New Zealander of the Year 2022, marking his significant impact on preserving Māori knowledge and influencing New Zealand society. This highlights the critical role of Indigenous knowledge in addressing current challenges like climate change and wellbeing​​.

Makiha’s efforts are a powerful example of the importance of ancestral knowledge and the role of Indigenous leaders in creating a connected, sustainable, and healthy world. His work is a significant contribution to global discussions on environmental care and wellbeing, inspiring future generations.

Dr. Ash Puriri

Dr. Ash Puriri is graduant of the University of Waikato and completed his PhD, which is a doctorate that has broken new ground in business research.

Dr. Puriri’s PhD is an absolute first in terms of exercising an emancipated indigenous methodology for a entrepreneur business doctorate,” he says. “Management has long been considered and dominated by a Western methodology, coming from a scientific perspective and using qualitative and quantitative research methods, and now I’ve introduced a dedicated cultural empirical research methodology, kaupapa Māori methodology.” Dr. Puriri is highly published and is referenced internationally.

Dr. Puriri’s expertise and research investigated at Māori indigenous entrepreneurship in management and examined the design and integration of cultural values and processes that a are engaged when Māori develop business. A His PhD is highly referenced globally by Academics, Governments, and Heads of State, Business Leadership and Health Organisations, as a common outcome of his doctoral thesis included mapping the location and types of experiences, products and services that all Indigenous businesses require in business to be sustainable.

Dr. Puriri hails from, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Rongomai-wahine, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Porou and Ngai Tuhoe, Te whare Tapu o Ngāpuhi Nui Tonu and is a founding business veteran of the cruise ship Industry for over 27 years and is still closely involved in academia. Dr. Ash Puriri is also one of the two Trustee’s of the National Hauora Coalition in New Zealand and
continually strengthens the presence of a voice of cultural authenticity and validity in health practices and business development with a global presence today.

Chadia Hajjar

Since Chadia left Lebanon in 1988 to attend the Francophone Film Festival in Paris, where her film Lebanon Despite Everything was screening, she realised that her departure from the city of Beirut would be long term and lead to many changes in new countries. From Paris, she took the road to Casablanca, Algeria, Melbourne, Adelaide, and finally Sydney, where she has been living for the past 22 years.

Since settling in Sydney, she has worked in a number of roles – as a foreign correspondent to satellite Arabic Televisions in Dubai, a journalist/reporter for local Arabic newspapers, a TAFE and High School teacher, a bilingual University examiner and marker, a Pre-Employment Trainer, and a digital media teacher. She received several awards for her work in the film industry and visual arts.

“More precious than birds “ is her first short stories collection written originally in Arabic language as a tribute to the ordinary Lebanese citizens who have given their lives to a non ending crisis in the Middle East.

Chadia dedicates this translation into English to her daughter Serene and to the young generation of Lebanese born abroad, as well as to her students of the Arabic language and culture.

Bettina Danganbarr (AM)

Bettina Danganbarr (AM) is a respected leader and advocate for the rights and wellbeing of Aboriginal women. Coming from Galiwinku on Elcho Island, Northern Territory, Australia, she founded the Galiwinku Women’s Space, dedicated to supporting Aboriginal women facing domestic, family, and sexual violence through the application of traditional Indigenous approaches to wellbeing.

In her professional role with the Northern Territory Police Force, Bettina combines her cultural knowledge and law enforcement experience to make a tangible difference in her community. Her contributions have been recognized with several awards, including the Member of the Order of Australia (AM). She was also named the Northern Territory’s Local Hero in the 2018 Australian of the Year Awards, received the 2019 Women’s Leadership Australia Award, and the 2021 Northern Territory Chief Minister’s Aboriginal Leadership Medal.

Bettina plans to deliver a keynote speech at the Indigenous Wellbeing Conference on the Yolŋu traditional Indigenous approaches to wellbeing and her journey in supporting Aboriginal women. This will offer insights into the effective strategies and challenges faced in this vital work.

The conference will also include a workshop by our Treasurer, Gaylene, on Indigenous alternative models of wellbeing. This session will focus on the Gurruṯu framework, demonstrating how it is used at our Domestic Violence Crisis Shelter to aid Aboriginal women in crisis.

The Galiwinku Women’s Space Board is keen to share our experiences and learn from others at the Indigenous Wellbeing Conference, aiming to improve the lives of Aboriginal women through culture and community support.

Dr. Robert Joseph

LLB, LLM, PhD Waikato
Tainui, Tuwharetoa, Kahungunu, Rangitane, Ngai Tahu
Senior Lecturer, Research Centre Director MIG (Law), University of Waikato

Dr Robert Joseph is Māori from the Ngāti Kahungunu, Tainui, Tūwharetoa, and Ngāi Tahu tribes in Aotearoa New Zealand. Dr Joseph is an Associate Professor of Law at Te Piringa-Faculty of Law at the University of Waikato and was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand in 1998. Dr Joseph completed his PhD in Law in 2006 and he was a senior research fellow in Te Matahauariki Research Institute under Judge Michael Brown and a senior research fellow in the Pro-Vice Chancellor Māori Office at Waikato University under
Dr Linda Tuhiwai Smith.

Dr Joseph was awarded the ‘Best PhD Thesis Internationally on Canadian Studies Award’ in 2009 by the International Council for Canadian Studies for his PhD Thesis Dissertation: ‘The Government of Themselves: Indigenous Peoples’ Internal Self-determination, Effective Self-Governance and Authentic Representation: Waikato-Tainui, Ngāi Tahu and Nisga’a.’

Dr Joseph is the current director of the Māori and Indigenous Governance Centre at Waikato University, he has been a trustee on numerous Māori trusts and organisations, and he is a founding member of Te Taumata, the Māori Committee for the New Zealand Government Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade. In 2022, Dr Joseph was appointed by the High Court of New Zealand as a pūkenga (expert) to assist Cull J in the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 High Court hearing in Ngā Hapū o Tokomaru Akau v Te Whānau-a-Ruataupare CIV-2017-485-000247.

He was also a mediator in 2022 for Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) dealing with the return of Crown surplus lands under the Public Works Act 1981 in the Turangi township. From 2021-2022 Dr Joseph was also appointed an Independent External Commissioner in the Independent Waikeria Prison Riot Inquiry under the Department of Corrections, and he was a member of the independent Arbitration Panel to determine ownership of four Māori land blocks in downtown Rotorua.

In addition, Dr Joseph has lectured internationally on Māori and Indigenous matters including at the United Nations in New York and at Harvard University. Dr Joseph is the current New Zealand representative on the International Inter-Tribal Trade and Investment Organisation (IITIO), he is a former Claude McCarthy and Fulbright Scholar, the latter at Harvard University and the University of Arizona, he is an expert witness, and licenced researcher and legal historian in the Waitangi Tribunal; a former Vice President of the Battle of Orākau Heritage Society Inc., and he has also worked with the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, the Native Nations Institute at the University of Arizona, the Australian Indigenous Governance Institute in Brisbane, and at the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research at Australia National University (ANU) in Canberra, Australia. In 2021, Dr Joseph co-edited and published the seminal Law textbook Joseph, R & Benton, R, (Eds.), Waking the Taniwha: Māori Governance in the 21st Century, (Thomson Reuters, New Zealand, 2021) 1025 pages.

Spiros Poros 

Photography and Philosophy as a means of positive Cultural Impact .

Photography is an artform that has revolutionized not only the way we see and capture the world around us, but also the way we think about and understand reality. Philosophy and photography are inextricably linked, as they both seek to explore and interpret the essence of existence. This presentation will therefore explore the philosophy of the visual image as a melting pot of political, aesthetic and social concepts.

The objectives of the presentation would be to explain the concept of “Photosophy” as an artform and to give the audience information and resources so they can understand and subsequently voice and express their art in their communities making a positive cultural and social impact throughout the generations.

Dr. Linita Manu’atu

Ko Dr Linitā Manu‘atu, MNZM, mei he mo‘unga ko Mokotu, Fata‘ulua Niuafo‘ou, Houmale‘eia mo e Ano Hēhea, pea fakamalumalu he ‘aho ni, ‘i he Pohutukawa ‘o Freemans Bay ‘i Tamakimakaurau.

She is currently the Managing Director of ‘Api Fakakoloa Educational Services and Enriching Otara Early Learning Centre. Formerly, a Senior Lecturer in Education at the Auckland University of Technology. As a consultant, she develops the conceptual framework, FatuManongi ‘o e Loto‘iTongá & Fakamonū ‘o Tonga, and the contents of all the papers to be taught for the first ever degree, a Bachelor of Education, Tonga Early Childhood Teaching, originated in Tongan language and culture at the Tonga Institute of Education, now Tonga National University.

Chairs the Tongan Language Week & Tongan Language Year organising committee from 2012 – 2021. Co-writes in Tongan language with Tongan authors on a fb page titled, Tonga Koloa‘ia since 2022. Three times a week, postings, cover a range of themes drawn from Tongan knowledges of indigenous health, education, spiritual well-being, Lea faka-Tonga, values, cultural practices, including lived experiences of Tongan migrants and their descendants in Aotearoa.

Fesaitu Solomone

Fesaitu Solomone is the current Chief Executive Officer for Centre for Pacific Languages based in the heart of South Auckland championing the work of 9 key Moana-nui-a-kiwa languages. 

She was born and raised on the island of Rotuma, migrating to Aotearoa NZ in 2006. Her value and pride in her identity as a Rotuman are foundational to family, faith, and community service. Her passion for her Rotuman language led her to publish her first bilingual poetry book (My Memories, My Heart, My Love) a collection of poems of almost 20 years in 2023 in Rotuman and English. She is also a Rotuman language educator and translator.

 Furthermore, she has extensive professional experience of over 20 years’ in media (television and radio), and a business consultant. She holds two business qualifications from the University of Auckland – Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Post Graduate Diploma in Business (PgDipBus).

George Makapatama

Hailing from Vaiea village in Niue, I bring a collective worldview to my journey. Migrating to New Zealand in the 1980s, I’ve dedicated my career to serving through social services, education, community development, and systemic change. With degrees in Social Work, Public Policy, Business Administration, and Māori Development, I am currently pursuing a doctorate in Fakafekauaga (Servantship).

Alongside my wife, Falalahemotu Makapatama, we’ve established FakaFekauaga Catalyst—a consultancy introducing Fakafekauaga. Rooted in Fakafekauaga’s Core Human Characteristics, we address complex systems problems, embracing Matutakaiaga (connectedness, relational, systems thinking, and systems change); Mahuiga (values-based, human lived experience, and tupuna wisdom); Fakalofa (love, compassion, and empathy); Fakamokoi (reciprocal relationships between people, land, sea, environment, and the spiritual realm); and Matohiaga (ancestry – past, present, and future).

We integrate solutions for human and environmental challenges, uplifting both people and our planet. I anticipate exploring how Fakafekauaga’s Core Human Characteristics empower Indigenous communities for holistic wellbeing.

Hon Peeni Henare

Ko Peeni Ereatara Gladwyn Henare ahau. Nō Te Aupouri, Ngāti Kahu, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Manu, Te Kapotai, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Whātua, Te Whakatōhea, Rongowhakaata me Ngāti Kahungunu.

Hon Peeni Henare proudly served as a Member of Parliament for Tāmaki Makaurau for nine years and a Minister for six years.

Peeni has served as the Minister for ACC, Minister for Forestry, Minister of Tourism, Minister for Whānau Ora and Minister for Veterans. As well as the Associate Minister for the Environment and Associate Minister of Health (Māori Health).

Peeni is of Ngāti Hine and Ngāpuhi descent. 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.