Whakamanawa 2023 - The National Social Services Conference

web banner


Ngā mihi and thank you so much to all our amazing Whakamanawa 2023 participants. We are so grateful for your presence at the Conference and for helping to build the energy and wairua of Whakamanawa 2023!

There are many people who made Whakamanawa 2023 possible, ngā mihi to our Lead Conference Sponsor Synergia, and Conference Sponsor Te Pūkenga – Careerforce, as well as a big thank you to our Conference Supporters Oranga Tamariki and the Ministry of Social Development, and of course to our amazing MC Kanoa Lloyd.

To all those who contributed to Whakamanawa 2023 as Keynote Kaikōrero, Panel Kaikōrero, Workshop presenters and Wellness Break leaders, we thank you for sharing your mātauranga and time with us. In doing so, you have contributed to strengthening our community-based social services and wider social sector - the people who work alongside children, rangatahi, families and whānau every day. 

Most importantly ngā mihi nunui ki a koutou katoa to all our amazing Whakamanawa 2023 participants, thank you for being there, for engaging, for sharing and for continuing to do the hard mahi in your communities and hāpori throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. Social Service Providers Te Pai Ora o Aotearoa remains here to tautoko you, as the collective, membership-based organisation for community-based social service providers. So make sure you keep engaging in our upcoming events, we'd love to welcome you back. Over the coming weeks we'll also continue sharing some of the highlights from Whakamanawa 2023, so keep checking out our website, Facebook and LinkedIn pages.

Keep an eye on your inbox for the Whakamanawa 2023 Resource Kete coming through too, this is one way we continue to awhi you as Whakamanawa 2023 participants - and when you have a moment, please complete the conference survey so we can build your feedback into Whakamanawa 2024!






 Our conference MC




1 Copy We are excited that Kanoa Lloyd will be joining us as our Conference MC at Whakamanawa 2023! We know she is going to create a wonderful atmosphere for everyone at the Conference.









2 Copy

Hon Carmel Sepuloni is the 20th Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand, the first Pacific and third female in the role. She is the current Minister of Social Development and Employment, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage and Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs (Pacific Region). MP for Kelston, Carmel is of Samoan, Tongan and NZ European descent.

She was born and raised in Waitara but has lived in Auckland since 1996. Outside of politics Carmel has worked broadly across the health and education sectors, working as a Literacy Educator with youth in West Auckland, teaching in Samoa, managing equity programmes at the University of Auckland, managing the non-regulated Pacific health research project and acting as CEO of New Zealand’s only national Pacific health provider, Vaka Tautua.

Carmel has always been committed to improving social, health and educational outcomes for all New Zealanders but has especially focused during her career on low socio-economic groups, Māori, Pacific, disabled people and sole parents. Across her portfolios, Carmel is committed to transforming the welfare system so that it’s fairer and treats people with dignity, and providing opportunities for people to get ahead in life – including better opportunities to get into meaningful and sustainable employment. She has previously held the portfolios of Minister for ACC, Disability Issues and Associate Pacific Peoples.



3 Copy


Jehan Casinader is a journalist, keynote speaker and mental health advocate.

He was named “Broadcast Reporter of the Year” at the Voyager Media Awards in 2020, and “Reporter of the Year” at the New Zealand Television Awards in 2018.

In the aftermath of natural disasters, terror attacks, sporting triumphs and everything in between, Jehan has helped hundreds of Kiwis to share their vulnerable and deeply personal stories with the rest of the country.

He works with wide range of organisations to promote storytelling in the areas of wellbeing, leadership and culture.

Jehan is the author of This Is Not How It Ends: How rewriting your story can save your life (HarperCollins).





Chappie Te Kani (Ngāti Porou, Te Aitanga a Mahaki, Tūhoe, Ngāti Maniapoto, Rongowhakaata) has held several senior public servant roles including Assistant Commissioner at the Public Service Commission, Head of System Assurance and Continuous Improvement, and Caring for Communities Lead within the COVID-19 Group at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. He was also Acting Chief Executive Te Arawhiti.

He joined Oranga Tamariki–Ministry for Children in May 2021 as Deputy Chief Executive Governance and Engagement before being appointed to the role of Chief Executive.

Chappie lives in Lower Hutt with his wife and two children. 






maramaHon Marama Davidson is of Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Porou and Ngāti Tahinga descent and was born into a family of young, urban Māori parents who were activists for justice. This grounding has meant Marama is passionate about improving outcomes for the many, and not just the few, and brings a Tiriti justice priority to her work and thinking every day in parliament.

Marama commits to a political approach of listening and working closely with community and its flaxroots leaders who do the hard work on the ground every day. Marama firmly believes that this is the most important work, to affirm the power of people and whānau to lead the most enduring solutions.

In her current role as Minister for the Prevention of Family and Sexual Violence, Marama has been instrumental in bringing government, community and sector together under her National Strategy -Te Aorerekura. The first of its kind, Te Aorerekura is a generational plan for change which has a bold vision to eliminate family violence and sexual violence in Aotearoa New Zealand.




 meretini croppedMeretini will share the final keynote address at Whakamanawa on Day 2, ‘Maramataka: Unlocking the Tools of our Tupuna’. Meretini was born under the gaze of her Kāhui Maunga (Sacred Mountains) and braided in the landscape of her Awa (Rivers) of Aotearoa, where she now lives as a mum to three young mana wahine on their ancestral lands in Te Iwi Roa o Mōkai Pātea. She has been actively part of the development and reclamation movement of Maramataka in Aotearoa, firstly as a practitioner and then as a researcher actively building evidence and momentum of the reclamation of indigenous identity to grow our hāpori (communities) with indigenous narratives of wellbeing.

This passion for Maramataka has led her into dynamic and innovative work that is oriented around increasing community and whānau wellbeing through the active application of mātauranga Māori. She is currently employed as a Rautaki Māori at Healthy Families Whanganui Rangitīkei Ruapehu and for a Māori Health Organisation, Te Oranganui. Meretini has completed a Masters of Māori & Indigenous Leadership through Aotahi, University of Canterbury with her study centred around Maramataka. She is also part of a research team working on Tai-o-Rongo, a kaupapa Māori programme of research that seeks to explore how Māori food and fibre producers can revitalise Māori ancestral knowledge systems to transform the future of Māori agribusiness. This programme involves Ātihau-Whanganui Incorporation, Ngāti Rangi and Ngā Waihua o Paerangi Trust, as well as other uri of Taranaki and Whanganui.





panel heading






day 1 panel







day 2 panel


Programme heading













supporters heading





OT new      MSD new





sponsors headings





 Ngā mihi to our Lead Conference Sponsor                                                                                  Ngā mihi to our Conference Sponsor

Synergia Logo Final2
CF TP logo full colour linear 6