Day 1 : Thursday 30th March 2023

Master of Ceremonies

Brian Sagala

With over 20 years’ combined experience in public speaking, performing arts, hosting, radio announcing, facilitation. Brian possesses the expertise & experience, to work well across different sectors (cultural, corporate, government, private, & community) in being an invaluable asset to an event; bringing a unique blend of humour, insight, wit & spontaneity to serve the needs of organizers & audience alike.

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Teuila Percival

Consultant Paediatrician at Kidz First

Moana Connect Director

Deputy Chairperson for Southseas Healthcare

Teuila is one of the Directors for Moana Connect.  Previously, she was the Head of Pacific Health Section at the School of Population Health, University of Auckland. Teuila has extensive research expertise in Pacific health research, in addition to her child health expertise which is often used in New Zealand and in regions in the Pacific and Australasia.


Her portfolio includes being the principal investigator on the Pacific Child Health Indicators project in the Pacific and OPIC 2, the family-based intervention for Pacific children project. Teuila is also involved with research related to rheumatic heart disease in Samoa and respiratory tract infections in children under two in South Auckland. Teuila is the deputy chairperson of the South Seas Healthcare Trust and serves on several government health advisory groups. In the 2010 Queen’s Birthday honours list, Teuila became a companion of the Queen’s Service Order for her services to the Pacific community. She has been an avid advocate for Pacific children’s health for a number of years which has seen her be recently appointment as Associate Professor at the University of Auckland.

Hon. Kelvin Davis

Minister for Crown/Maori Relations; Minister for Children; Minister of Corrections; and Associate Minister of Education (Maori Education)

Born and bred in the Bay of Islands but now living in Kaitaia, Kelvin is a man of the north who brings skills in education and Māori issues to the Cabinet table to improve outcomes for all New Zealanders educationally, financially, culturally and socially.


He is driven, passionate and kaupapa driven, and is most at home either fishing or up in the bush of his beloved Karetu Valley.

Judge Frances Eivers

Commissioner for Children 

Her Honour Judge Frances Eivers (Ngāti Maniapoto, Waikato) is our current Children’s Commissioner, taking on the role from 1 November 2021. Before being appointed Commissioner, she was a Judge in the District Court in Manukau, working extensively with mokopuna in the court system. She has worked as a lawyer in Auckland, Whakatāne, London and Tauranga. In New Zealand, she practised mainly in the Family, Youth and Criminal courts, including working as a lawyer for children and as a youth advocate.


Born in Kawerau and raised in Te Teko, she counts herself lucky to have been raised with love in her whānau whānui and to have had a community where “everyone pretty much knows everyone”. She is a mother of three sons and counts this as her greatest achievement.


She believes that every child is a gift: he mokopuna, he taonga. If every child is treated as a gift, a treasure, then every New Zealander would ensure that the welfare of children is at the heart of every decision that affects them and their families. Her initial priorities as Commissioner are advocating on mental wellbeing, family violence and education.

Housing and Income Plenary Speakers

Roine Lealaiauloto

Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Penina

Roine is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Penina in 2001 (then known as Penina Pacific Health Ltd), after a successful career in social services. It is under Roine’s leadership of the last 20 years, that our organisation continues to flourish and expand its services where our communities needs it most.


Roine worked in Aotearoa and Samoa after completing her Bachelor of Social Work at Massey University with early roles including working with Child, Youth and Family services, in resettlement programmes and in health sector project management including time at the Mental Health Foundation and the Ministry of Health in New Zealand.


Currently completing her Masters in Business Administration, she also offers her vast skillset to other organisations within our community including as Chairperson for Family Success Matters, Soalaupule South and the New Zealand Pacific Housing Network. Roine is also an Executive member of PIMPHPA, Co-Chair of the Tangata o le Moana provider collective, member of Counties Manukau Communicable Diseases Group and for the Penina Trust.

Aiono Matthew Aileone 

Deputy Secretary for Policy, 
Research and Evaluation, Languages and Housing 

Ministry of Pacific Peoples 

Aiono Matthew Aileone is the Deputy Chief Executive Policy, Research and Evaluation, Languages and Housing at the Ministry for Pacific Peoples. He leads the teams responsible for developing key policies and research to take forward the Ministry’s Lalanga Fou vision. Some of this work includes leading the development of the All of Government Pacific Wellbeing Strategy, the Pacific Languages Strategy and the ‘Fale mo Aiga’ Housing Strategy and Action Plan.

Aiono’s oversees the cross agency Lalanga Fou DCE’s group and the Ministry’s business cases developed for the wellbeing budget. He also served a secondment as an Assistant Commissioner at Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission.

Aiono originally joined the Ministry in October 2018 from the senior leadership team at the Master Builders Association where he worked as a Policy and Advocacy Manager. Aiono enjoyed a 15-year career as a New Zealand diplomat, trade negotiator, policy officer and legal advisor at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Aiono was also involved in Pacific trade and economic issues including the Pacific Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus.

He is a proud member of the Tafesilafa’i Samoan Catholic community in Christchurch. His parents are originally from the village of Fasitoo’uta in Upolu, Samoa, where his chiefly title of Aiono was bestowed. Most importantly, Aiono is a devoted husband to Rose and proud father to his four-year old son Savelio.

Vito Nonumalo  

Principal advisor – Pasifika 

Kainga Ora 

Based in Christchurch, father of 3, and husband to Gina Nonumalo, Vito was raised in a Samoan Catholic family in Naenae, Lower Hutt. The New Zealand born son of Nonumalo Eneliko Nonumalo (Fasito’outa) and Mele Nonumalo (Solosolo), who both moved to New Zealand from Samoa in the late 1960’s. 


Originally studying to be a journalist and broadcaster, Vito spent a number of years working in commercial radio, before encountering and using mental health services. 

That experience set the foundations for Vito becoming an advocate for both young people and Pacific people, and leading to a career spanning over 20 years throughout New Zealand’s mental health and addictions sector. 


Joining what is now Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities in 2019, Vito was in part responsible for the development and adoption of a new model of holistic support for people living in Social Housing that is currently being rolled out across the country, a model that better embeds the use of Te Whare Tapa Wha and the Fonofale model. More recently Vito has taken on a role within Kāinga Ora, which entails driving the organisation to better meet the needs of Pacific people and communities. 


Conference Dinner Speakers

Fepulea'i Margie Apa & Otara PIC Sunday School Teachers

Nurturing spirit 

Church is an integral setting for the wellbeing of many Pacific children. Sunday school teachers from Otara Pacific Islands Presbyterian Church (PIC) will be sharing their journey and experiences of Sunday school teaching and child development.

Ane Fa’aui

My Baby’s Village

Ane is the Community Lead with Moana Connect and will be sharing about the recipients of My Baby’s Village Community Fund.

Toni Moore

Executive Director

Auckland UniServices Ltd.

Toni is the Executive Director, Business Units at UniServices.  She is a senior executive and director with over 25 years’ experience in global organisations, including global leadership roles in Orica and Fonterra as well as in the international management consultancy, KPMG. Over the years she has led the design and redesign of strategy, new growth, expansion and efficiency initiatives that have achieved major business transformation, performance and cultural change. Her focus is building and growing the capability of organisations, the people, the partners, the customers and the communities involved.


Toni is a proven leader in the design and use of technology to enable business digital innovation and transformation. Her focus is harnessing technology to add value to people and businesses in a way that creates better experiences more efficiently.  Toni is involved in pro-bono work to grow capability and support in vulnerable areas particularly focused on the lives and futures of tamariki and mokupuna – her passion for enabling flourishing futures for all a key motivator every day

Dr. Jeanne Pau’uvale Teisina & Dr Teuila Percival

AU Pacific Child Wellbeing Project

Dr. Teuila Percival and Dr. Jeanne Pau’uvale Teisina will be sharing about the Au Pacific Child Wellbeing Project.


The Au – Pacific Child Wellbeing project is a Pacific-led community-based collaboration designed to address the health and well-being of Pacific children under the age of five years.


Malo e lelei pea malo ‘a ‘etau toe ma’u ‘a e ‘ahoni, ko Jeanne Pau’uvale Teisina hoku hingoa. Jeanne Pau’uvale Teisina was born in the island of Vava’u, a northern group of islands that make up the Tongan Kingdom. She was raised initially by her grandparents Kato and Fatai Lolohea, and came to New Zealand with her parents Meleane and Sifa Pau’uvale and siblings Sulieti, Lorraine, Sifa leka in 1995. She is married to Mosese Teisina of Ha’ano with 3 daughters Seinisia’O Toloke, Meleane Lilio, and Akosita Lepanoni Teisina. Her involvement in Tongan ECE as a manager have drawn her attentions to the cultural problems inherent in the regulatory context and curriculum frameworks of New Zealand Early Childhood. Jeanne’s doctoral study at AUT University looked at the the concept of ‘self’ through the lens of Tongan philosophic thought drawing on the Tongan world. Jeanne is actively involved within her Kainga Ako community from ECE right through to tertiary education as a lecturer at AUT University teaching the Pacific Curriculum and the Ako papers for primary school and ECE teachers in Aotearoa.

Teuila is one of the Directors for Moana Connect.  Previously, she was the Head of Pacific Health Section at the School of Population Health, University of Auckland. Teuila has extensive research expertise in Pacific health research, in addition to her child health expertise which is often used in New Zealand and in regions in the Pacific and Australasia.

Hon. Carmel Sepuloni

Deputy Prime Minister
Minister of Social Development and Employment;
Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage;
Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs

Carmel Sepuloni is a mother, wife, daughter of a migrant, a Government Minister and the Labour MP for Kelston.

Born in Waitara, Carmel is of Samoan, Tongan and New Zealand European descent. 

Carmel entered Parliament in 2008, having worked in the tertiary sector as a literacy educator, a student mentor adviser, an equity manager, and a Pacific health research project manager.

A brief break away from Parliament in 2011-2014 saw Carmel become Chief Executive of Vaka Tautua, a national ‘by Pacific, for Pacific’, health, disability and social services provider.

In the current Labour Government, Carmel serves as the Minister for Social Development and Employment, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage and Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs (Pacific Region). She also serves as the 20th Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand, the first Pacific and third female in the role.

She has previously held the portfolios of ACC, Disability Issues and Associate Pacific Peoples.

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’s also committed to building a sustainable, diverse, inclusive and resilient arts and culture sector, and strengthening Aotearoa New Zealand’s ties with the Pacific region.

Day 2 : Friday 31st March 2023

Policies for Children Panel Session:

Anahila Kanongata’a-Suisuiki

Labour Party

Anahila believes every New Zealander must have access to excellent housing, health and education which are fundamental in offering the best start to fulfilling a person’s dreams and aspirations.

Serving the Papakura electorate, Anahila supports the community, organisations and agencies helping with health and wellbeing. “I’m proud to continue to work with our Papakura communities, so they can gain access to affordable housing, quality healthcare and education,” says Anahila.

Karen Chhour

ACT Party

Nearly every MP says they want to reform CYFPs/CYFs/Oranga Tamariki. Karen lived it and came to Parliament to make a better world for children. Her own story of overcoming adversity to have a loved family of her own and a successful business is the embodiment of ACT values. She changed her future.

Karen has been self-employed in the New Zealand made clothing industry. She is a mother of four and has lived on Auckland’s North Shore for the past 30-years.

She strongly believes that, with the right tools, anyone in this country can make something of themselves. She believes that we have spent way too long trying to make a broken system work.

Jan Logie

Green Party

Jan’s Southland childhood established her deep connection with the beauty of an untouched environment. But it was the impact of the economic reforms of the 1980s that led her toward people-oriented work, giving a voice to those who often go unheard.

Jan wants to see the way we practice politics change to strengthen faith in our democracy. She believes that public engagement and greater transparency are central to trust in both the system and our politicians.

John Tamihere

Māori Party

Ngāti Porou, Whakatohea, Tainui, Irish, Scottish

John Tamihere – JT as is he is affectionately known – is one of Māoridom’s greatest enigmas. Whether it has been battling in the political arena, where JT served two terms as a Government Minister or going toe-to-toe with iwi leadership over the rights of urban Māori, JT has never waivered from advocating for the rights and mana of his people.

Dr. Shane Reti

National Party

Dr Shane Reti is serving his third term in parliament and feels honoured to have held senior National Party roles including Interim Leader and Deputy Leader. Shane is passionate about his current roles as Spokesperson for Health, Spokesperson for Maori-Crown Relations, Spokesperson for Pacific Peoples and as a list MP serving the people of Whangarei.

Panel Facilitator

Dr. James Prescott

CPA, COP, CTTng., B.Com., M.Com (Hons), PhD


Dr Semisi Prescott is a Senior Lecturer in Accounting and Finance at Unitec Te Pukenga. His current research area is small and medium size enterprises in the South Pacific and business and culture. He is activity involved in the Pacific community through the church, his governance in health and education and social services.


He has worked with community and government agencies in social development, families commission, broadcasting, education and Oranga Tamariki. He has extensive experience in governance and published in corporate governance in the pacific. He has worked with projects in numerous Pacific projects in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

Lunchtime Speaker

Clare Ward

Executive Director, Strategy, Governance and Engagement Group and Child Wellbeing and Poverty Reduction Group; 

Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet 

Clare holds two Executive Director positions within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, one being the Strategy Governance and Engagement Group, and the other, Child Wellbeing and Poverty Reduction Group.

Originally from England, Clare has a background in strategy, policy, research, programme development, monitoring and investment management in the public sector both in New Zealand and in the UK.

About the Child Wellbeing and Poverty Reduction Group.

The Child Wellbeing and Poverty Reduction Group (CWPRG) reports to the Minister for Child Poverty Reduction and supports her in work to reduce child poverty and improve child and youth wellbeing. The Group works to:

  • embed the child wellbeing and poverty reduction legislative framework, positioning it to effect positive change for children and young people
  • support the system to focus on the things most likely to make a positive difference to child and youth wellbeing and child poverty reduction
  • influence change and drive action across the system to advance the Government’s child and youth wellbeing and child poverty reduction objectives.

Commissioning for Pacific Child Wellbeing Plenary Speakers

Aiolupotea Sina Aiono

Chief Advisor Pacific, Office of the Chief Executive 

Oranga Tamariki 

Aiolupotea Sina Aiolupotea-Aiono is from the villages of Falelima, Paia, Siufaga, Fa’ala Palauli in Savaii, Samoa and she holds two chiefly Ali’i titles of Aiolupotea and Toleafoa, bestowed from my Aiga Sā Nāmualii in Falelima.


She is the Chief Advisor Pacific at Oranga Tamariki-Ministry for Children (Oranga Tamariki). She was appointed to this newly established role in June 2021. The Chief Advisor Pacific role is responsible for the visibility and championing of Pacific culture and values across Oranga Tamariki and Pacific communities within Aotearoa. The role is a cultural leader and is responsible for supporting the organisation to bring to life its cultural competence and confidence in engaging with Pacific communities. This also includes building our Pacific staff network, harnessing of the Pacific cultural capability and their valued contributions to the organisation’s delivery of its core purpose and roles.

Holika Uhila

Regional Manager

Aroturiki Tamariki Independent Children’s Monitor

Holika Uhila is a Regional Manager of Aroturiki Tamariki, the Independent Children’s Monitor. Holika joined the monitor in December 2021 and leads a monitoring team based in Tāmaki Makarau, overseeing the Te Tai Tokerau and the Auckland region. He has a social work background, particularly with youth in diverse communities.

Holika has held leadership roles in the social sector, most recently as General Manager Pacific Team at Oranga Tamariki where he worked to improve service delivery for Pacific children and young people. This included leading a team to develop and implement a Pacific strategy, provision of policy advice and coordination of the Pacific Panel. As National Operations Manager he oversaw four care and protection residences. He has also worked in family violence prevention.

Holika is passionate about community engagement and building partnerships with stakeholders, through which he hopes to inform the changes needed to improve the lives of children and young people in care. He speaks fluent Tongan and is proud to have helped develop the first Pacific Cultural app, Talanoa Mai, which will support learning and pronunciation of seven Pacific languages.

Arran Jones

Executive Director

Aroturiki Tamariki | Independent Children’s Monitor

Arran Jones is the Executive Director of Aroturiki Tamariki, the Independent Children’s Monitor. Arran has been with the Monitor since April 2020. He has a legal background, having spent over ten years working in the Ministry of Social Development’s Legal Service both as senior solicitor and Deputy Chief Legal Advisor leading operational and corporate teams.

Arran has held several leadership roles at the Ministry of Social Development including in the Office of the Chief Executive, Legal Services and at Work and Income. More recently he was Head of Privacy at ACC. Arran also led the Partnerships and Programmes workstream in the Investing in Children programme that established Oranga Tamariki.

“My vision for the Monitor is to listen to many voices, most importantly of children, young people and their whānau. I believe this is how we can provide the greatest support to Oranga Tamariki and other monitored agencies, and ultimately the children and young people in their care.”

Pauline Sanders

Interim National Workforce Lead, Pacific Health

Te Whatu Ora  

Nurse Leader of Samoan decent with a demonstrated history of working in Primary and Secondary healthcare. Experienced and skilled in strategic and operational levels of service delivery, project and contract management, leadership and academia. Master of Professional Practice (Leadership) graduate through Aniva and Whitireia New Zealand.

Pacific health workforce and Kahu Taurima – A Whole of system change: Maternity and Early Years 

Malaetogia Jacinta Fa’alili-Fidow

Implications for Pacific Child Advocacy 

Chief Executive Officer  

Moana Connect

Jacinta has extensive leadership and management experience in health research, public health and Pacific wellbeing in New Zealand. Her work aims to bridge government, academia and Pacific communities to champion authentic positive change for Pacific. As the founding Managing Director of Moana Research, Jacinta empowers the importance of Pacific world-views, and the prominence of self-determination in all Moana Research work, including evaluation, research and advocacy.

Jacinta has worked for Pacific health provider WestFono, as Manager Pacific Health Research with the Health Research Council, and as Senior Advisor, Pacific for the Public Health Group in the Ministry of Health. After the Ministry of Health, Jacinta was shoulder tapped to manage TAHA Pacific Maternal and Child Health Service at the University of Auckland.

Conference Summary

Dr. Jean Mitaera

Chief Advisor Pacific Strategy

WelTec & Whitireia

Jean will be providing an overall summary of the Pacific Child Wellbeing Conference at it’s conclusion.


Jean is Maori Cook Islands with 30 plus years in social work education and research. A stalwart of PACIFICA Inc, raised in PIPC Newtown and Trustee for Centre for Pacific Languages and Taeaomanino Trust. She is the Chief Advisor Pacific, Whitireia WelTec (with portfolios in Pacific health and research, Social Practice and Pacific success).