Speakers for Nui te Kōrero 2021

We’re delighted to announce three incredible Māori leaders as our Ngā whetū Matarau (pointers for navigating) for our annual leadership conference Nui te Kōrero: Tāmati Kruger, Glenis Hiria Philip-Barbara and Jamie Tuuta.

They will each set the course and navigate us all through the theme of Leadership for Transformation from within a Mātauranga Māori framework. 

Keynote Speakers:


Keynote speakers

Glenis Hiria Philip-Barbara (nō Ngāti Porou me Ngāti Uepōhatu)

The importance of letting go

At Nui te Kōrero, Glenis will share stories of leadership that is values led, kaupapa driven and firmly focused on creating space for the next generation.

Glenis Philip-Barbara is an uri of Ngāti Porou and Ngāti Uepōhatu who calls Tairāwhiti home.  A committed advocate for Māori culture and language, Glenis has remained engaged and active in sustaining and supporting the growth and development of Māori communities and initiatives.

Glenis Chairs Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival Trust and was appointed the inaugural Māori Commissioner for Children in November 2020.  She was formerly the Chief Executive of the Māori Language Commission and has held a number of key roles in the public sector & in tertiary education spanning teaching, research, senior leadership and governance.  Glenis’s primary strength is in strategy and co-design, in particular the alignment of organisational intent with the needs and aspirations of the people it serves. 

Jamie Tuuta (nō Ngāti Mutunga, Ngāti Tama, Te Ati Awa, Ngāti Maru me Taranaki Tuturu)

Ko taku raukura he manawanui ki te ao

He puawai au nō runga i te tikanga
He rau rengarenga nō roto i te raukura
Ko taku raukura he manawanui ki te ao!

I have emerged from a legacy of principle, practice and conviction
The raukura provides the means to overcome hardship and adversity  
My  raukura is a symbol of determination and resilience to the world

Jamie’s kōrero will draw upon the lived experience, models and frameworks derived from this whenua to inspire, guide and inform how we navigate uncertainty and challenge now and into the future. He will speak to the importance of connection to whenua and community and how we can respond and adapt to the COVID-19 environment from a Māori leadership perspective.

Jamie was born and bred in Taranaki, growing up on whānau land in Urenui, Taranaki and has deep experience working for iwi and Māori across multiple sectors. 

He is passionate about the potential of Aotearoa and our people and has a keen interest in advancing Māori economic, social and cultural development. This includes advocating for equity and exploring ways that might reduce the inequality that is currently disproportionately experienced by Māori. He has held various roles in the areas of iwi development, agribusiness, fishing, investment, health, Māori development, tourism, treaty settlement negotiations and education. He is inspired by the opportunities for Aotearoa to be an exemplar for other countries and firmly believes that we have the ability to design and shape our own the solutions here in Aotearoa.

Jamie is the chair of the Taranaki Mounga Project an ambitious project with a vision to restore the ecological resilience to more than 34,000 ha from the mountains to the sea. He is the chair of Tourism New Zealand, the Māori Television Service, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Mutunga and Ka Uruora Trust (a programme of services supporting whānau to improve their financial wellbeing and achieve financial independence). 

Jamie is a recipient of the 2010 Sir Peter Blake Emerging Leadership Award. He was also awarded the Maori Young business Leader of the year award in 2016. He was also a Judge of the Westpac Women of Influence awards from 2015-2019.

Tāmati Kruger (nō Ngāti Koura, Ngāti Rongo me Te Urewera hapū o Tūhoe)

May my feet bring me to where my heart is

Tāmati’s kōrero will speak to how we shape our connection and identity with iwi and land, how the arts contribute to our identity, the major role of iwi culture in the arts and the Tūhoe journey towards mana motuhake.

Tāmati Kruger is a Tūhoe representative and social and political analyst who has dedicated his life to the notion of mana motuhake and the Tūhoe lifestyle.

From the Ngāti Koura, Ngāti Rongo and Te Urewera hapū of Tūhoe, Tāmati was instrumental in securing the largest Treaty of Waitangi settlement to date ($450 million) for the Central North Island Iwi Collective. Representing Tūhoe, Tāmati was chief negotiator of the Tūhoe-Te Urewera Treaty of Waitangi Settlement, which lasted six years from 2009 to 2014. The landmark settlement included legislative changes to transfer Te Urewera National Park to its own separate legal entity, looked after by the Te Urewera Board, of which Tāmati is chair.

Tāmati’s contribution is not limited to his tribe. He chaired the Second Ministerial Māori Taskforce on Whānau Violence and developed the Mauri Ora Framework and was awarded the Kahukura award in 2013 in recognition of this work.

Tāmati was a finalist in the 2012 New Zealander of the Year awards and was the Supreme Winner of the Marae Investigates Māori of the Year in 2014. In 2015 he was a recipient of a Distinguished Alumni Award by Victoria University.

Tāmati was a member of the NZ Planning Council, founder of the Tūhoe Education Authority, a member of the Social Welfare Commission and led a review of Te Tira Ahu Iwi – Iwi Transition Agency. He is also a kai whakairo in the Tūhoe style, a te reo tutor and an active member of his three hapū and two tribal authorities.

Wena Harawira (Tūhoe, Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui)

Keynote panel facilitator

Wena Harawira (Tūhoe, Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui) is a specialist in Māori communications and media. She has worked for iwi, independent, corporate and government agencies, is a published author and champion of te reo Māori. Wena is currently the head of news and current affairs at Māori Television. Check out Wena’s e-Tagata interview here (external link).





Dolina Wehipeihana (Ngāti Tukorehe, Ngāti Raukawa)

Dolina is a producer, arts manager, choreographer and performer. Dolina is currently General Manager of Kia Mau Festival, Kaiārahi Māori at PANNZ (Performing Arts Network New Zealand), and Chair of Atamira Dance Collective Charitable Trust. She is also a co-director and producer for Betsy & Mana Productions, and an advocate for contemporary Indigenous theatre and dance.

Dolina has produced for artists White Face Crew, co-produced the national tour of Mei-Lin Te Puea Hansen’s The Mooncake and the Kumara and Kirk Torrance’s Flintlock Musket.  She has toured New Zealand work to Australia, Hawaii, New Caledonia, and Edinburgh.

A founding member of Atamira Dance Company, her creative background also includes dancing with companies such as Black Grace and Touch Compass and independent choreographers and projects such as the Limbs Retrospective and Maui One Man Against the Gods. Dolina is currently a choreographic practitioner in the collectively created work Te Wheke by Atamira Dance Company, premiering in June 2021.

Karl Johnstone (Rongowhakaata) 

Karl is the Founder/Director of Haumi, a multi-disciplinary cultural and creative studio based in Auckland. Karl has worked across the creative sector for over 25 years as a creative director, curator, and strategist. Alongside his passion of working with iwi, he has developed major cultural diplomacy initiatives, cultural centres, exhibitions and experiences. A graduate of Elam majoring in painting, Karl worked at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa for approximately 10 years before becoming the director of the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute. He is a former member of the New Zealand Arts Council (2017-2019), was Kaihautū for New Zealands ninth official exhibition at the Venice Biennale and is the Creative Director for the New Zealand Pavilion at Dubai 2020. 

Mere Boynton (Te Aitanga a Māhaki, Ngāi Tūhoe)

Mere is of Te Aitanga a Mahaki, Ngāti Oneone and Tuhoe descent and has over 30 years’ experience as an Artistic Leader, Producer, Event Manager and Performing Artist across all sectors of society. She has always worked within the arts and particularly for organisations that advocate for the success and empowerment of Māori and indigenous artists. Mere was recently appointed the position of Director Ngā Toi Māori for Tāwhiri and is responsible for programming all Māori content across Tāwhiri platforms including the NZAF, the Wellington Jazz Festival and the Lexus Song Quest.

Mere produced the Te Reo Māori Season which is a legacy programme for Taki Rua Theatre as well as programming and producing the Matariki Festival and Kaumātua Kapahaka at Te Papa.  For the last two years Mere has been contracted by the Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival as a Creative Associate and also the Hawkes Bay Arts Festival to conceptualise and produce an opening ceremony with Lemi Ponifasio and a concert ‘Tūtira mai ngā iwi.’

Mere is known and respected within the Māori arts industry nationally and has strong relationships in Wellington from her work with Taki Rua, Toi Māori Aotearoa and Te Papa Tongarewa. She has travelled extensively overseas as a performer with many groups including Lemi Ponifasio and his company MAU, French choreographer Regine Chopinot, composer Jack Body, Tourism New Zealand and TradeNZ.

Puawai Cairns (Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Pūkenga)

Puawai  is Director of Audience and Insight at Te Papa Tongarewa, overseeing the public facing work of the national museum. Puawai has a curatorial and research background, and previously was the Head of Mātauranga Māori for Te Papa, where she specialised in contemporary social history research and collecting to reflect the stories of Māori communities. She co-wrote a book on the material culture of protest called “Protest Tautohetohe: Objects of resistance, persistence and defiance” (Te Papa Press, 2018. 2019 Ockham book award for Best Illustrated Fiction), and continues to advise nationally and internationally on museum practices, advocating for greater indigenous participation and leadership in the heritage sector. 

Tanea Heke (Ngā Puhi nui tonu, Ngāti Rangi, Te Uri Taniwha, Ngāti Hineira, Nō te rohe o Taiamai, Te Tai Tokerau)

Tanea is a graduate of Te Ako Pai:  Wellington College of Education, Victoria University and Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School. She has been working as a creative and administrator in the arts industry for the last 25 years and started at Taki Rua Productions in a producing role before moving to Te Papa Tongarewa overseeing exhibition management.  At Creative New Zealand, Tanea was responsible for delivering the Venice Biennale project and working with the Aotearoa delegation of Māori and Pasifika artists at the Festival of Pacific Arts in Guam.  In 2012, Tanea worked in Germany as New Zealand’s Project Director at the Frankfurt Book Fair. 

Tanea has appeared in several theatre and film productions including Cousins by Briar Grace Smith and Ainsley Gardiner (based on Patricia Grace’s book), The Justice of Bunny King by Gaysorn Thavat, Waru by Briar Grace-Smith and No 2 by Toa Fraser.  Her theatre credits include:  Astroman by Albert Belz, He Kura e Huna ana nā Hōhepa Waitoa, Portrait of an Artist Mongrel by Nancy Brunning and The Prophet by Hone Koukua.

Tanea is producer of Hāpai Productions, a mana wāhine, kaupapa Māori theatre company she and Nancy Brunning set up in 2013.  She is currently mentor for the Māori Arts Interns Programme run by Toi Māori and a Board member on Track Zero (bringing art and science together to inspire transformative climate action). In 2019 she returned to Toi Whakaari as Tumuaki and in 2020 was the 2020 recipient of the Creative New Zealand Ngā Tohu Hautūtanga Auaha Toi Making a Difference Award.