Tiatia J

Jason Tiatia

This year's MC brings the richness and vibrancy of his colourful Pacific culture of Sāmoa. Once a professional and international All Black 7s rugby player, he has now has transferred his expertise to the education sector. It only made sense for him to receive his major in Sport Management with CAPABLE NZ at Otago Polytechnic. Jason now has a refined variety of skills particularly around facilitation and MC roles, adding elements of fun activities, as well as keeping spaces safe by having people involved. But we'll have to wait and see how he does that: Empowering people by sharing his passion for Pacific communities and personal stories with all who are open and willing to walk with him along the way.

We are fortunate that he works across a number sectors in sport education either for community events: SPAC PAC Polyfest (Secondary School festival), ACE National Conference(Adult Community Education), delivering Brainwave Trust Whakamana te tamaiti presentations for our Males in our correction facilities and even raising three trilingual tamariki with his Ngati Kahungunu wife, while daily teaching the 3rd most spoken language in Aotearoa, Gagana Samoa/Samoan language classes at Ara Institute of Canterbury.

Jason keeps the people in front of him engaged while keeping the flow of the energy moving. He believes that, 'the one that does the work does the learning,' coupled with his favourite Samoan proverb he lives by, ' o le tele o sulu e maua ai fīgota, e māmā se avega pe a tā amo fa'atasi,' ('my strength does not come from me alone but from many') - Let's get in behind and welcome Jason Tiatia with open arms as one of our NZEI Conference MC's.


Explore a Pacific practice that is central to the community, and learn how recreating this custom can promote sustainable relationships and establish a foundation toward shared goals. Designing a learning environment to enhance success for Pacific learners could be achieved when we put learners and their 'āiga at the centre of the design. Recreating familiar environments  that nurture collaboration, culture and language will lead to a greater sense of belonging and improved wellbeing.

Jason will discuss how designing for Pacific learners will require us to look to our past, before reimagining learning that is relevant to their lives, and reimagining success as a collective.

Attendance is capped to 20 participants.


Maria Lemalie

Maria Lemalie is a proud Educator, born and raised in the city of Christchurch. Her parents migrated from Samoa in the late 60s from the tranquil and beautiful villages of Apai, Manono Tai and Salevalu-Iva, Savai'i. She has always acknowledged the sacrifice and the journey that her parents made for her and her 3 brothers.

Maria is currently the Assistant Principal at Christchurch Girls' High School.

Prior to teaching, Maria has held roles in the government sector both in NZ and in Samoa. Maria worked in the tertiary sector at the University of Canterbury as a Pasifika Liaison. Through this work, she found that she had a talent with engaging, supporting and improving practices for all who worked with Pasifika. Maria has extensive experience with APSTE, the association of Pasifika Staff in Tertiary where she has facilited workshops and organised national conferences. She has spent time teaching in Nagasaki, Japan and Incheon, South Korea. She is a member of the Pacific People's Advisory Group Canterbury for MOE. Maria has facilitated PLD workshops on Cultural Responsiveness and Raising Pasifika Achievement. The audience has ranged from ECE through to Tertiary.

When she is not working in her core job, Maria has great involvement with the wider Canterbury Community through Culture, Service and Faith.

Maria has had an intergral part in the Christchurch's Secondary Schools Polyfest Festival. She is well known for her work with the stage management of the ChCh Polyfest stage for over 15 years. In this capacity, Maria has been able to see the growth of Pasifika Pride and the prioritisation of Pasifika culture throughout the South Island schools. She is known to many schools and students as 'the lady with the clipboard'.

Maria has been the educational co-ordinator for Pacific PowerUp East for a number of years. Pacific PowerUP is an education programme that aims to actively support Pacific parents, families and communities to champion their children's learning. It also provides academic support to primary and secondary students, and a safe learning environment for ECE-aged children. Through this programme, Maria has been able to work with families, teachers, local schools and tertiary institutions.

On Sundays, Maria will be serving within her parish community as a hearty member of St Paul's Trinity Pacific Presbyterian Church. Whether it's opening the Church on Sunday mornings, reading out the morning notices, taking the minutes for Parish Council, or subbing in as a relief teacher for Sunday School, she takes the lead in serving for a greater purpose.

To keep her energy levels high, Maria is a dedicated F45 addict. She loves the occasional burpee and the good ole box jump. She attends 5.10am classes before getting to work. She has completed over 20x City to Surf Runs, 13x Half marathons, 1x full marathon and a triathlon. Her greatest love are her nephews. If the F45 classes don't get her pooped, her nephews do a great job of keeping her on her toes.

"Ole ala ile pule ole tautua" - The path to leadership is through service.

For Maria, this Samoan proverb has been an intricate part of her journey as a Pasifika Woman, Daughter, Sister, Aunty, Teacher, Advocate, Mentor and servant.


This workshop looks at the journey of women to roles of Senior Leadership within the education sector. We look at the privilege, power and unspoken conversations that take place that empower and disempower women. We discuss the opportunities to collaborate with other women and the ways to support each other in the education sector.

'Tautua nei mo sou manuia a taeao' - Serve now for a better tomorrow

Keynote Speaker


Daisy​ Lavea-Timo

Daisy Lavea-Timo is a spoken word poet, rugby league prop, learner and facilitator. A black and white Samoan lens converges and in those thousand shades of grey, Daisy explores what it means to be a straddler of worlds: a kiwi-born, fluent-Sāmoan speaking and traditional tattoo-wielding Matai/Chief.

Crowned the 2017 New Zealand Slam Poetry Champion, she believes in the power of words and holding the vā/spaces for people to share their own stories. Daisy's poetry ciphers around talanoa about identity, purpose and leadership.

A multi-potentialite whose career spans roles in the local and central government, NGO and business sector, Daisy recently set up Cross-Polynate Ltd a team of Indigenous Avengers who combine Creative, Collaborative Leadership and Indigenous Participatory approaches to build social connectedness that enables youth development, aiga and community wellbeing.


Tusiata Avia

Tusiata Avia is an internationally acclaimed poet, performer and writer.

She has four collections of poetry: Wild Dogs Under My Skirt, Bloodclot, Fale Aitu/ Spirit House and The Savage Coloniser Book (shortlisted for 2021 Ockham NZ Book Awards). She has published 4 children's books and her poems, stories and essays have been published in over 100 anthologies and literary journals.

'Wild Dogs Under My Skirt, is also a multi-award-winning theatre production for 6 women; most recently garnering The Fringe Encore Series 2019 Outstanding Production of the Year at Off-Broadway theatre, Soho Playhouse in New York City.

The recipient of a number of awards, Tusiata is a current Arts Foundation Laureate (The Theresa Gattung Female Arts Practioners Award) and in 2020 was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to poetry and the arts.

Workshop Presenters

Mark Tulia

Leatufale Tu'uauato Tulia Integration Advisor MoE

Leatufale is an experienced educator having held teaching and senior leadership roles in the primary and intermediate sector. He is currently working at the Ministry of Education designing and delivering programmes to support learners and parents.

Siatua Evalu

Siatua Evalu Lead Advisor Pacific Engagement (Canterbury)

Sia has extensive experience in education working in the tertiary sector leading high performance teams delivering initiatives for secondary and tertiary learners. He is currently working at the Ministry of Education leading Pacific education for the South Island region


The Action Plan for Pacific Education 2020-2030 has a vision that diverse Pacific learners and their families feel safe, valued and equipped to achieve their education aspirations. It outlines the actions the Government has committed to achieve this vision and signals how early learning services, schools and tertiary providers can achieve change for Pacific learners and their families.

Jo Togiaso

Jo Togiaso

Talofa lava. I am so grateful that God has supported me through a rewarding career and pathway in teaching. My love for teaching blossomed within the ECE sector when I started taking my children to A'oga Amata (Samoan Preschool). This passion ventured into lecturing at the University of Canterbury for the last 12 years in the School of Teacher Education. I have always been passionate about success for Pasifika learners, especially when I (like many others) have had to overcome many challenges within the NZ Education System.

I am the proud mother of Vevesi who is studying towards a Masters in Health Science, Jarise who is completing a degree majoring in Psychology and Ana who is in Year 11 this year.  My husband Atapana and I (also a UC graduate), are both proud of the pathways that our girls have chosen. We try to install the importance of their faith, family and God-given opportunities. Our girls have a strong appreciation for what the grandparents have done, migrating here from the Pacific to provide a strong foundation for them to excel here in this country. I am looking forward to being part of the NZEI fono and cannot wait to learn from the amazing presenters and participants. Fa'afetai tele lava.



Okirano Tilaia

Talofa lava, my name is Okirano Tilaia, I'm 19 years old and of Samoan decent. This year I have been studying as a second-year student at the University of Canterbury. I'm studying a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Political Science and International Relations, and minoring in Sociology. I am currently the deputy-chair of the Pacific Youth Leadership And Transformation Council, a member of the Minister of Education's Youth Advisory Group, and a part of several other community groups and organisations. I have had the privilege to speak and present on local, national, and global platforms on matters in relation to the Pacific, young people, leadership, and political issues.

I have a major passion for positive change and the empowerment of young people; building genuine relationships and connecting with people from all walks of life to share our stories and create a space for all of us to prosper and succeed. I cherish every part of my Pacific roots, as I believe if an individual has a strong sense of belonging, they are more likely to succeed in all aspects of their life. With everything I do, with every space and platform I hold, I stand as one, but come as 10,000; I come with the support of chiefs, warriors, leaders, and ancestors who paved the way for my success today. Meitaki.


It takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a child to uplift a village.


Dr Lesieli Pelesikoti Tongati'o

Lesieli has extensive experience across all levels of the education sector, with strong understanding of Pasifika education and evidence about what works to raise achievement, with key networks, particularly in Pasifika communities. She has a deep understanding of policy and practice, leadership and strategic development, and, is an experienced researcher. Lesieli is an accredited Professional Learning and Development facilitator and also gives some lectures in the Institute of Education alongside supervising post graduate students. Tongan is her first language, English her second and has a good understanding of Polynesian languages and other Pacific languages and cultures.

Lesieli is currently a PLD facilitator with Tātai Angitu, Kaihautū Mātauranga o Te Moana nui a Kiwa - Pasifika Education Leader, providing PLD to leaders and educators across early learning, schools and tertiary levels, and, championing Pasifika Success. Represented Tātai Angitu in recent conferences with presentations and workshops at the Vaka Pasifiki Conference, It takes and Island and an Ocean: Rethinking Pacific Education for resilient and healthy communities, USP, Suva, Fiji July 5,6, 2019; The Pacific Tertiary Education Forum, Be the change you can be, VUW, September 6,7 alongside church conferences.

Previously led the development, implementation and monitoring of Pasifika Education Plans (PEP) while working in the Ministry of Education, including the Pasifika Education Plan 2013-2017. These PEPs were approved by Cabinet and covered the focus areas of Early Learning (early childhood education and development); Schooling (primary through to secondary); Tertiary Education; Education Sector-Wide (Ministry of Education and Education Partner Agencies); and, Parents, Families and Communities. They aimed at raising Pasifika learners' participation, engagement and achievement from early learning through to tertiary education and to ensure that all Pasifika children and students succeed in education as well as being strong in their identities, languages and cultures.


Piripi Prendergast Tokona Te Raki - Māori Futures Collective

Piripi (Ngāti Pākehā) spent 35 years secondary teaching, mostly teaching English in bilingual programmes. He currently works for Tokona Te Raki - Māori Futures Collective, an iwi led organisation with the vision of equity for Māori in Education. His primary role is creating pathways for rangatahi into careers of the future but he has also been researching streaming as a systemic barrier to equity. As a result, Tokona Te Raki is building a movement to end streaming in our schools.


Almost every school in New Zealand, primary and secondary, streams students in some. From their first day at school, students are told 'You can' or 'You can't'. Some are placed in the top reading group, some in the bottom. The top group students get more teacher attention, higher expectations and more challenging work. Those in the lower group, get the opposite. At secondary school there is the extension class and the foundation class - what students refer to as the 'cabbage class'.

The research consistently tells us how bad this practice is - for everyone. The Minister of Education, Rt Hon Chris Hipkins has publicly stated the same. The impact on Māori and Pasifika students is especially damaging. It doesn't have to be this way. An increasing number of schools are ending streaming and are finding everyone benefits. This workshop follows the recent release of the report 'Ending Streaming in Aotearoa' and will cover case studies of schools making the change away from streaming and in particular, how these changes have impacted Māori and Pasifika students.


Pip Laufiso DipTchg, B Arts, B Applied Management

Working for the Ministry of Education is a continuation of a vocational journey across the education sector. Beginnings in childcare and youth work, community study groups lead to primary school teaching.

Previous roles include the Executive Officer for the Arai Te Uru Kōkiri Training Centre and the Pasifika Education Adviser & Lecturer for the University of Otago College of Education.

Growing up in a Samoan family in Dunedin/Ōtepoti nurtured a strong sense of commitment to equity and social justice. Pip is a Te Tiriti o Waitangi educator and a professional development facilitator.

Involvement in a range of community-based organisations, and local and national initiatives, Pip's key interests are focused on arts, education, and community activism.

She extends her governance experience in the education and community sectors as a Trustee on the Otago Community Trust and various committees and working groups.

As an advocate for arts/culture and creative sector, Pip is a Trustee of the Otago Polyfest, a member of the Dunedin City Council's Creative Dunedin Partnership and manages a Pasifika arts and events collective, Inati.

Hana M Halalele, photo

Hana Halalele BA PGDipSW MCAPS (Otago), Reg Social Worker 11832 ANZASW

Bula Vinaka, Fakaalofa lahi atu, Fakatalofa atu, Kia orana, Mālō e lelei, Mālō nī, Talofa lava, Taloha Ni, Kamusta ka, Namaste, Nī hăo, Hola, Tēnā koutou katoa.

My name is Hana Melania Halalele (nee Fanene-Taiti), New Zealand born Samoan affiliated to Vaie'e and Sale'imoa villages, Samoa.  Long term resident of Waitaki for 34 years.  Married to Mataiasi and mum to daughters Lesieli and Toeafiafi. Registered Social Worker by profession, ANZASW, BA, PGDipGrad, MCaps (Otago).  Chairperson for Oamaru Pacific Island Community Group Inc, Coordinator for Talanga 'a Waitaki PowerUp programme, Trustee for Waitaki Safer Community Trust, Pasifika Safe Shelter Trust and Waitaki District Council's first Pasifika District Councillor.

I have a passion for community empowerment from a Strengths, faith based perspective always willing to serve and represent the diverse cultures in the Waitaki region.  I believe that we should always invest in the wellbeing of our people and advocate social change for the betterment of our community.


Using the theme and symbols of the fono to illustrate their journey, Hana and Pip will share stories of wayfinding.

Ana Teofilo4

Ana Teofilo

Emerging artist Ana Teofilo was born and raised in Dunedin but her Samoan ancestry is in her art and the traditional Siapo (Tapa) art forms. Her paintings blend harmoniously with the artist's heritage and new contemporary western. Her birth place and upbringing is a positive point of difference that enables her to create artwork that is unique while traditional which contributes to the overall Pacific art in New Zealand.

Teofilo walks a tightrope between her Samoan and her South Island environment. She bridges both cultures to connect with her identity. There is also a nod to aboriginal art practices with beaded pathways flowing through her paintings symbolising journeys.

She was the recipient of the Con Hutton Scholarship in 2015 which contributed to her Masters in Visual Arts with Merit (Painting) from the Dunedin School of Art at Otago Polytechnic. Since then she has exhibited solo exhibitions at the Dunedin community Gallery, AS Gallery Dunedin WebbFarry Lawyers, Dunedin International Airport Terminal in 2016, Warwick Henderson Gallery, The Nathan Homestead Gallery (Auckland) in 2017, Ana was 1 of 7 to represent Warwick Henderson Gallery at the Auckland Art Fair in 2018 and coming up in March will be her first solo show with Gallery De Novo (Dunedin).

The uniqueness and strength of her work bring a breath of fresh air to the Pasifika genre of art in New Zealand.


Ana's art journey, the logo design and background details of the meanings behind the patterns of the 2021 Fono. Hands on, interactive creation with carving/painting/glue dotting.

Attendance is capped to 20 participants.

Caroline Markeo
Karl Vasau

Lealamanu'a Aiga Caroline Mareko, MNZM, JP

Caroline has taught for 18 years in Porirua primary schools.  She left the classroom to be a Pasifika Education Coordinator for the Ministry of Education to oversee Pasifika Education across the Central South region from ECE to Tertiary and engage with all the Pasifika Community Groups. After about 5 years, Caroline left Moe to be a Review Officer in the Central Region for the Education Review Office.  Caroline is currently the Senior Manager Communities & Participation for He Whanau Manaaki Tararua Free Kindergarten Association. The Association has 103 services including 5 Pasifika kindergartens and a Home Based Learning programme. She has worked for the Association for 11 years. Caroline in partnership with Karl Vasau delivered courses for Pacific and non-Pacific teachers through TRCC in the last 15 years.  She has also with NZEI Komiti Pasefika Wellington Branch delivered workshops to understand the Pacific Core Values and unpacking the Tapasa (Pacific Cultural Comptencies Framework) to members in ECE and Primary sectors throughout the Wellington region.

Karl Vasau

Karl Anthony Vasau is a NZ born Pacific Islander of Niuean, Samoan, Tongan and European descent. He and his partner, Geneva, are the proud and loving parents of a 5 year old son, Karl Jnr and they currently live in Takanini Auckland. Karl has been in education for 24 years and started his teaching in 1998. He has been a principal for 15 years in both the State and Catholic School systems and is currently the principal of Rowandale School in Manurewa (since 2014). Rowandale is a Decile 1a School with a current roll of 656 year 1-6 students. Karl is a firm believer in relationships based learning and parents as first teachers. He is an advocate for quality teaching that caters for the unique needs of 21st Century Learners and believes that the BEST teacher for Maori and Pasifika children is the BEST teacher who understands their own identity and culture (special conditions apply). He recently completed his Masters of Contemporary Education (MCE) through Unitec and The Mind Lab and as a hobby he breeds English Show Budgies. 


We are sharing our stories and experiences in Pacific education to help build and grow your knowledge and skills to set the dial on how you will navigate Pacific success for your learners. Know yourself before you know your learners. To know your learners will contribute to effective engagement with their parents and families. What cultural competencies do you need to know to be responsive in your practice and engaging with your learners in the classroom?

Geoff Siave

Geoff Siave

Born and raised in Christchurch to Samoan parents, Geoff has a Samoan matai title "Taitu'uga" from the village of Sapunaoa. He was first a principal in 1991 and has lead schools in a variety of locations around Aotearoa, as well as three years leading a large private school in Samoa. Geoff' is looking forward to sharing his thoughts about the joyfully challenging role of the tumuaki.


Sylvia Fidow

Talofa Lava

My name is Sylvia Fidow and I am the foundation Principal of West Rolleston Primary School, Te Kura o Te Uru Kōwhai - a school of 700 learners in Canterbury. Prior to this I was the Principal of Shirley Primary School in Christchurch for eight and a half years. I am the Mum of two beautiful children, Alexandra is in her third year studying commerce at UC and Ezra is in Year 11 at Rolleston College and I am married to Tony. I am part Samoan from my Dad's side. He travelled from the Village of Safotu in Savai'i by ship to Canterbury in the 1950s. My Mum was of English and Irish descent born in Greymouth.


Manuia lou malaga (have a good journey) is a Samoan phrase used when someone is going on a holiday, but also when someone has died (in reference to the journey beyond this physical life).

Experienced Canterbury Principals, Sylvia Fidow and Geoff Si'ave will share their journeys to - and in - principalship. What is the significance of their Pasifika heritage in the role? Do we ever reach our destination?


Diane Fenika Southern Director of MPP

Diane Fenika's understanding that building enduring relationships with communities relies on earning trust and respect is a rare find.  For Di, every day brings new opportunities to do this in her work with South Island Pacific communities.

The Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) valued Director, Regional Partnerships Southern consistently demonstrates an exceptional spirit of service to her community.

Di has 19 years of proud service in the public sector and has gathered skills which draw on her ability to enable dynamic conversations in a way that reflects the many different perspectives Pacific communities have to share - people's stories, experiences and views.

(Courtesy of MPP)


Diane shares about the Ministry's work in the Pacific community engagement space, and the Pacific Aotearoa, Lalanga Fou: reflects the voices of our Pacific community from a series of engagements, and supporting tools the Ministry has developed in Yavu (Engagement tool) and Kapasa (Policy development tool).


Mele Togiaso

Mele Togiaso was born in Samoa (from the villages of Fagaloa, Fasito'otai, Toamua and Falealili) and also has whakapapa links to Te Arawa. She moved to Christchurch in her early years and has over 15 years teaching experience in the Eastern suburbs. Mele enjoys being involved in her community and over the years has been part of a range of different educational and community based initiatives.


After a few years teaching Mele went on to complete both a Post Graduate Diploma of Education (endorsed in Teaching and Learning Languages) and a Master of Education (University of Canterbury). She enjoys modelling a love of learning to her students and this year is undertaking further study through Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. 


Mele is passionate about digital technologies and how these tools can be used to grow students' creativity and connections to their culture and communities. This year, along with teaching a lively class of Year 5 & 6 students at Bromley School (Apple Distinguished School) she has a number of exciting digital projects in the works. 


Attendance is capped to 20 participants.


Taime Pareanga Samuel, QSM

Of Cook Island descent and born in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, I have held a number of positions in the Early Childhood sectors from Head Supervisor, Assistant Team Leader and am currently Head Teacher at Fanau a le Tupu A'oga Amata in Napier.

A very strong advocate for Cook Island Culture, displaying natural ability, love for music and language, and has respect for other cultures in the community.

Love, faith and prayer plays a huge impact in my leadership roles from local to national levels.

Tamapua Pera

Was born in Rarotonga and came to Christchurch as a 20 year old from Tahiti in the late 1970s. The talented mother of five boys, always wears her Cook Island heart to every community event. She has interests in visual arts, performing arts, dress design and tailoring. A perfectionist, systematic and orderly in everything she does, Tamapua has the unusual ability to notice what others overlook.

Some of her community efforts are, setting up Tiare Maori dance team back in the early 1980s, being involved in Te Mato I Pao 'Ia Mai Au - a Cook Islands radio show on Plains FM in the 1990s, Cook Islands Council of Canterbury and being a trustee for the TURAMA Kuki Airani Charitable Trust for the last ten years; the lsist goes on. Tamapua is always generous with her time with things Cook Islands.


Tino e tasi 1

Saul Laumanuve-Su'a & Zohar Laumanuve-Su'a

Crossing over into the ECE sector only 5 years ago, Saul Luamanuvae-Su'a stepped in to manage his parents family business running Samoan language preschools across the South Island.  He is the Centre Manager at Tino e Tasi Preschool, and is committed to ensuring that every Pasifika child is proud of their identity and feels confident to navigate into the future and strive for success.

Saul recognised that there were very little resources that speak to our tamaiti's own identity, language and culture.  As such, he has been working with the teaching team to find ways that empower Pasifika children through innovative ways so they feel proud and thrive.

Collaborating with the tamaiti, Tino e Tasi produced various Pasifika digital language applications available to use for free on iOS and Android devices.  The success of these apps demonstrate their significance in supporting effective teaching and learning that use cultural content, sound and imagery to engage Pasifika learners.


Suli Tuitaupe 1

Suli Tuitaupe

I am privileged to work as a Practice Nurse at Local Doctors Eastcare in Aranui, Otautahi (0.4FTE) and as the Team Lead, Clinical, Health Services and Health Promotion for Tangata Atumotu, a Pasifika non-government organisation (0.6FTE). I am proud to work in collaboration with our communities and stakeholders to advocate for our most vulnerable. I am passionate about holistic health and wellbeing, and the promotion of physical activity. I love working with the communities I serve, focusing on illness-prevention but also working with illness-cure.

My passion and commitment to improving health equity is my way of giving back, and to do that is to advocate for changes both at grassroots and at an organisational level. In my roles as a nurse, health promoter and fitness trainer, I have committed to supporting individuals in their health journey, and to help empower, inspire, and motivate communities with the message that 'health is wealth'. This will hopefully see a positive change in improving Pasifika health statistics, rainbow inequities, and improving health equity for all kiwis.

Outside of work, I serve as the Sunday School superintendent at St Paul's Trinity Pacific Church, with a student and staff roll of 150. I also teach our Tangata Atumotu Island Dance Beats programme (Siva Samoa) in a range of settings for our communities to become healthier versions of themselves!


Workshops In The City

Canterbury museum

Canterbury Museum

Hatesa Seumanutafa

Associate Curator Human History, Māori & Pasifika, Canterbury Museum

For eight years Hatesa has worked in curatorship and collections management projects focused on Polynesian, Māori, Colonial, Antarctic, Asian and Middle Eastern cultural material. Her passion for museums and heritage evolved after a visit to Canterbury Museum as a teenager, where she encountered the wealth, intelligence and mana of the people of Oceania. Hatesa works to stimulate indigenous participation in establishing practices and discussions relevant to Pacific cultural heritage, lived experiences, representation, interpretation and conservation of our shared cultural heritage.


Our shared Pacific heritage has much to say about the significance of our peoples' potential, practices and roles. This workshop will provide an opportunity for attendees to go beyond the glass cases, beyond the public spaces, to behind the scenes where treasures from the Pacific wait silently for a listening ear. Come visit, let us have a talanoaga about how we can navigate ways of learning through historic treasures of the Pacific.

Attendance is capped to 20 participants.


Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu

Bianca van Leeuwen

Gallery Educator

This lesson will be presented by Bianca van Leeuwen who is the Gallery Educator at Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu. She works with students and teachers from schools around Canterbury to offer arts education and introduce them to the Gallery collection. She oversees the schools programmes and spends her time creating and running hands-on lessons, workshops and specialised tours for visiting students and school groups.


Take a tour of the Gallery and explore a range of Polynesian artforms including woodblock, Tivaevae and Tapa. During the tour you will be asked to make recordings of patterns and motifs used in the work you see. These drawings will then be used to create your own Polynesian print.

Attendance is capped to 34 participants.



Jan-Hai Te Ratana

Jan-Hai Iosefa Te Ratana was born and bred in Christchurch. She is a proud mother to two boys Wiremu and Che. And through the example of her grandparents that arrived in Christchurch

From Samoa in the early 60s and 70s, has a great belief in education as a vehicle for social change and an intrinsic drive to serve the Pasifika community, and deepen her connection to her culture for her family.

Jan-Hai has worked at Christchurch City Libraries for more than ten years in various roles and more recently found herself teaching and developing STEM programmes across the city and further afield - which of course led her to look at ways to guide Pasifika into STEM pathways.

She is currently the Team Leader of the Auahatanga|Creativity floor at Tūranga, home of innovation for the Libraries and has more recently set up a Charitable Trust called Tagata Moana which looks to engage our Community in STEM education through Pasifika Indigenous Knowledge and Heritage Arts.


Come and find out how our Pasifika community from across the city are accessing STEM education through their libraries network. Have a play with some of our gear, check out our creative spaces and learn about how we are reshaping the perception of technology with our communities to encourage the development of Pasifika content.

Attendance is capped to 25 participants.

C1 espresso

C1 Cafe

Dale Palea'ae

I am privileged to own & run C1 Espresso, located in the heart of the Christchurch CBD. I began working in the cafe in 2012 as a university student & in 2020 purchased the cafe.

Since 2009, C1 Espresso has been in partnership with Women in Business (WIBDI), Samoa; and as a young woman, I was honoured to have the opportunity through work to connect with Samoa; my family, my culture, my home away from home.

C1's partnership with WIBDI aims to empower vulnerable families to generate income in a sustainable and self-reliant manner. Membership within this programme guarantees a long-term income that is sensitive to the traditional Samoan culture and customs; while educating in financial literacy & encouraging independence through the planting, processing and production of coffee, tea, fruit, flowers & herbs for products sold at C1 Espresso and throughout New Zealand.

My goals are to upscale this programme throughout Samoa, and eventually the Pacific, allowing more families the luxury of choice - whether they are related to increased access to healthcare, education or transport and removes some financial related pressures by having an income which is as resilient as the people receiving it.


Attendance is capped at 20 participants.

Suli Tuitaupe 1

Suli Tuitaupe

Pasifika Mobile Community Nurse & Health Promoter

Tangata Atumotu Trust

Island Dance Beats Class


Angie Malae

Angie Malae is the year 7/8 Kaiako/Faiaoga, Deputy Principal and SENCo at Te Kōmanawa Rowley School. In 2018 Angie completed a sabbatical research project with a focus on culturally responsive practice with a Pasifika lens, along with a post graduate professional inquiry into Effective Teaching in Mathematics for Pasifika Learners. She works alongside Pasifika learners and their families every day. 

Carolyn Silby

Carolyn Silby is a highly experienced classroom teacher and team leader at Fendalton Open Air School.  She is currently leading the teaching and learning in the Junior team, with a strong focus on culturally responsive practice in a play based learning environment.  


Through Angie's experiences in classrooms and schools, and as co-coordinator of PD for Christchurch teachers (primary and ECE) through Komiti Pasifika (Koko Time, NZEI Otautahi Branch) we became aware that staff in schools/ECE often lacked the practical resources to create learning spaces and classroom cultures that are welcoming and culturally responsive for Pasifika children and families. To build relationships with families and to create a solid foundation for learning, teachers need knowledge around the culture and needs of Pasifika learners and their families, and practical ideas and activities that can be easily accessed and used. School leaders and teachers are committed to creating classrooms that are welcoming to whanau/aiga from diverse backgrounds that also promote health and wellbeing. However teachers currently lack an easy-to-use, free and accessible 'tool kit' that would support this commitment. Some teachers also lack understanding of the Pacific context of some of their students. As such, a decision was made to create and pilot a 'go to' resource: the Pacific Toolkit.