ACE Conference

ACE Conference June 15-16, 2022, Te Wharewaka o Pōneke

Te Manu Kairangi | Great Minds

The 2022 ACE Conference theme will explore neurodiversity (the range of differences in how the brain works), leading from te ao Māori, and other worldviews. Our Conference theme, Te Manu Kairangi was developed by our Board member, Te Ataahia Hurihanganui, in wānanga with whānau, and giving consideration to related proverbs, symbolism, place and the term neurodiversity, from te ao Māori.

This is explained in the whakatauākī (proverb), te manu e kai ana i te miro, nōna te ngahere; te manu e kai ana i te mātauranga, nōna te ao, the bird who partakes of the miro berry owns the forest, the bird who partakes of knowledge/education owns the world. Kairangi is used to denote high esteem or held in the highest esteem, beyond potential, success.

The programme will build on the sector experience of working with differently abled ACE staff, adult learners and their whānau, sharing good practices and with opportunity to access resources that support the neurodiverse in their learning in community based programmes.

The magic will again be provided by our sector minstrel, Pale Sauni and our 2022 ACE Aotearoa Awards will be presented at the conference dinner.

Click here to download the ACE Conference Programme Booklet.

Programme Highlights

Exploring neurodiversity requires a broad perspective.  The programme will be a platform to hear directly from learners and their whānau such as Ali Cowley and his son, Nikau, who use creativity as a superpower while increasing awareness of Autism.  We will showcase programmes, insights and approaches for supporting learning diversity and have created space for overdue in person networking, and more discussion with each other, including a kava ceremony experience that will be led by Dr Edmund Fehoko. We have again invited the Hon. Minister Chris Hipkins to present and hope he will be available to attend.

Travel Subsidies

Applications for conference travel subsidies are closed.


We have negotiated a special conference room rate at the Naumi Hotel in Cuba St, an easy walk to our conference venue, Te Wharewaka. When booking use the conference code ACEConf 22.

Health and Safety at the Conference

The ACE Conference will operate under the protection framework, and protocols of the venue, Te Wharewaka. It will be the responsibility of each individual to determine what they are comfortable with in keeping safe. This includes mask wearing and social distancing.