Hui Fono Speakers

Dr Palatasa Havea

“You will succeed in science, just don’t forget your roots.”
Come meet the Tongan Scientist! The senior Fonterra dairy scientist took three years to get out of Year 10 in Tonga, and only really learnt to read and write properly in his last year at high school. He overcame those setbacks to hold the island nation's first food science PhD, pioneered the use of whey protein in a variety of products in this country and now regularly advises the New Zealand government on policy issues in the Pacific Islands.

Dr Jodie Hunter

“Like counting taro instead of tennis balls can make the difference.”
Come meet the Cook Island Mathematician! Dr Jodie Hunter who is a Senior Lecturer in the Institute of Education at Massey University. She teaches on the subjects of Mathematics and Pasifika education, putting culture, language and social contexts at the centre. Did we mention maths runs in the family. Her māmā is Dr Bobbie Hunter who is also a mathematician and well known for her work in contributing to Pasifika learners doing better in the subject area.

Dr Bobbie Hunter

“I think of tapa and tīvaevae as growing patterns, and growing patterns are very algebraic”
Dr Bobbie Hunter, is Jodie’s māmā, and also a senior lecturer and researcher in mathematics education at the Massey University Albany campus. She has developed ways of linking mathematical concepts to cultural norms. Dr Hunter, who developed a love of maths through watching her Cook Islands mother measuring and making geometric patterns for intricate tivaevae (fabric art) patterns, says maths teaching needs to be done in a cultural framework using problem-solving examples that reflect the lives of the students.

Nikora Ngaropo

"We’re proud of our excellent track record of engaging youth through a combination of traditional techniques and digital technology"
Of Te Rarawa, Tuhoe and Ngāti Porou descent, Nikora has over 18 years’ experience in digital animation. He worked for Weta Digital and has an impressive list of blockbuster movies he contributed to. Nikora established Young Animators to create a platform to inspire digital literacy in rangatahi through animation. His recent work has seen him travelling to rural communities in Aotearoa, as well as the Cook Islands delivering workshops.


Pale Sauni
Pale in the Fale is back! No stranger to the Hui Fono MC role, Pale brings over 30 years’ experience working in Pasifika and Māori communities and education.

Ako: learning exchange

Digital Natives Academy (DNA)

Potaua Biasiny-Tule, Director
From Rotorua, DNA's kaupapa is to inspire whānau to become creators, developers and innovators of digital technology, rather than mere users and consumers of it. DNA is about giving whānau the confidence to think creatively, work collaboratively and reason systematically. They do this through a range of online and offline activities related to the digital technology sector.


Issac Liava’a, National Manager, Pasifika Team
Tony Laulu, Pasifika Adviser

Skills are the largest industry training organisation (ITO) in the country. They have been helping train up the next generation of tradies and professionals and working with industries to ensure that qualifications provide them, and employers, with the right skills. From electricians to security guards, the Māori and Pasifika team will be at Hui Fono to talk about their work and the apprenticeship scheme.

Te Wā o Le Vā

Ani Pahuru-Huriwai & Malia Patea-Taylor
This workshop will focus on the importance of relationships, in particular that between tangata whenua in Aotearoa and their Pacific relatives, those born in the home lands, and those “NZ-made”. Through a culturally-centred model we explore our whakapapa connections throughout Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa and explore the importance of those ancient connections and shared histories to creating enduring relationships today in Aotearoa.

Whakapapa Quilts

Maungarongo Te Kawa
This workshop is based on Te Whare Pora (the creative zone), Waipunarangi (the source of creativity) and Hine Te Iwaiwa, (the Energy of Nature). These traditional concepts (used by indigenous midwives) inform our ancestral healing methods. The concepts will be explained and then participants will be able to contribute to a large colourful peace quilt. Since 2016 over 500 people have now contributed to this quilt, in schools and galleries. Whakapapa quilts is a new and exciting way of telling old stories, fostering connectedness, empowerment and hope - and providing a gift for the next generation.

Ranui 135

Edith Amituanai, Rob and Zee Luisi
Ranui 135 is a programme in a Western suburb of Auckland, Ranui. Encouraging and shaping positive youth development, by influencing inspirational leadership in the youth work sector and building the capacity of youth workers. The Ranui 135 crew will share a practical experience of how they are using the arts as a vehicle to create positive storytelling of the people in their community.