Delightful speakers. Personal stories. A veritable feast of inspiration, illumination, humility and hilarity to warm the cockles of one's heart and soul.


Amanaki Hope Prescott-Faletau

Amanaki Hope Prescott-Faletau

An exciting and multitalented young Pacific artist, dancing since the day she could walk - from contemporary to Voguing - Amanaki Prescott-Faletau is a Tongan graduate of the Pacific Institute of Performing Arts (PIPA) in Auckland. She works as a choreographer, dancer, actor, writer, tutor and creator of new work.

Amanaki has extensive skills as a dancer and choreographer in hip hop and Pacific Dance.  She is choreographer and Artistic Director of Fine Fatale and has been a judge for several years in the NZ Streetdance National competitions.

She is also an award-winning actress and playwrite. In the lead role in Victor Rodger's award-winning Girl on a Corner, Metro magazine called her “utterly charismatic.” Reviewer Lexie Matheson, praised her “simply outstanding … towering performance” on GayNZ.com.

She won praise for her performance opposite Robbie Magasiva in another Victor Rodger play, Club Paradiso, as a young fakaleiti subjected to the whims of Magasiva’s P-fuelled character. 

Amananki was co-recipient of the 2015 Play market Over-All award for Plays for Young People for Inky Pinky Ponky, which she co-wrote with a fellow PIPA graduate, Leki Jackson-Bourke, based on her own experiences as a fakaleiti.

A shining star, Amanaki's acting, dancing and storytelling talent will be a guaranteed treat.

Emily Writes

Emily is a 31-year-old mother of two boys under three. Her first blog post in March 2015 went viral, reaching more than one million people in a few days, and her recent review of the film Tarzan has been called "the best film review ever, in the history of all the world". She is the parenting columnist for both the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly and the New Zealand Herald. 

Emily founded and runs a charity called Ballet is for Everyone that provides free ballet lessons for children from low-income homes and children with disabilities and high health needs. She is a Plunket and Mother’s Network volunteer and an advocate for children’s and women’s rights. Her first book is forthcoming from Penguin Random House. She also runs The Lighthouse events for mothers, and has a popular podcast called Dear Mamas.

"I write about parenting the way I see it. My blog is a judgement-free zone that talks about the exhausting reality of parenting with humour and grace. It is for all of the parents who love parenting their wee ones but crave solidarity and support from other parents, and incorporates a philosophy that no parent is alone. We’re in this together."


Hera Lindsay Bird

Hera Lindsay Bird

Hera Lindsay Bird has a MA in poetry from Victoria University of Wellington, where she won the 2011 Adam Prize. Her work has been published by The Toast, The Hairpin, Sport, Hue & Cry, The Spinoff, The New Zealand Listener and Best New Zealand Poems. She is currently living in Wellington.

‘I think there’s a pretty strong case which suggests Hera Lindsay Bird is like the most exciting newish poet in NZ.’ —Steve Braunias

‘Hi, dear, have to say how much we enjoyed, if right word, the Hate poem. Really made us think, loved the line about the ancient cannon.’ —text message from Ashleigh Young’s mum

'The wickedest problem in Hera Lindsay Bird is not sex but taste.’ – John Newton


Jacinda Ardern

Jacinda Ardern

Labour List MP in Auckland Central. Spokesperson for Justice, Arts, Culture and Heritage, Children, and Small Business. Associate Spokesperson for Auckland Issues

Jacinda's passion for social justice led her to the Labour Party at just 17 years old. She was elected to Parliament in 2008. Jacinda ran in the 2011 election as Labour’s candidate for Auckland Central, halving the incumbents’ majority down to approximately 700 votes. Jacinda lives in Freeman's Bay, and would include her hobbies but it would most likely become a list of things she likes to eat.

Jacinda's background experience ranges from policy development through to managing a large international non-governmental organisation (NGO). Before entering Parliament Jacinda worked for two and a half years for the Better Regulation Executive in the UK Cabinet Office. Her role as an Associate Director was to improve the way that local authorities, in particular, interfaced with business. She was also seconded to the Home Office to assist with a review of policing in England and Wales. In 2007 Jacinda was only the second woman to be elected President of the largest international political youth organisation in the world – IUSY, a role which saw her spending time in places ranging from Jordan, Israel and Algeria through to China.


Melissa Clark-Reynolds

Melissa Clark-Reynolds ONZM

Serial entrepreneur Melissa Clark-Reynolds was a gifted child, a teen mum, and the youngest woman to ever attend university in NZ at just 15 years of age. She graduated with a BA with Honours from Victoria University. She later went Rutgers University in New Jersey in the United States, where she completed a combined Masters Degree in Health and Environmental Studies.

Melissa has been the founder and chief executive of several technology business over a twenty-year period, including Looxie, MiniMonos, software firms PayGlobal, Intaz, GMV Associates (sold to Southern Cross) which became Fusion – New Zealand's largest private ACC insurer. She is one of the few New Zealand women to raise investment money both nationally and internationally. In 2012 she was named one of the top-10 female company founders to watch by Forbes Magazine.

Melissa is passionate about entrepreneurship and represented NZ at the APEC Forum on encouraging Women Entrepreneurs. As well as being a judge for EY Entrepreneur of the Year (2000 and 2004) she is also featured in Her Business magazine's Hall of Fame and was named as one of the 150 most powerful women in NZ Business by Unlimited Magazine 2002. She has been featured in a number of books including Success in New Zealand Business V2 (1997), A New Generation of Business Leaders (2000), Living Life Out Loud (2001) and The Kiwi Effect (2004) and has been on the cover of both Her Business and Management Magazine.

Melissa was chosen as one of only two New Zealanders to train with Al Gore to present his updated Climate Project slideshow as seen in the film An Inconvenient Truth and is helping to spread his global warming messages to the masses.

She sits on a range of boards, including Radio New Zealand. As a Board member at Creative HQ, she helped to establish the Lightning Lab in Wellington.

In 2015 received a Queens Honour for services to Technology.


Moana Maniapoto

Moana Maniapoto

"In the landscape of New Zealand music, one genre stands out: music by Maori artists, which is a solid cornerstone, and within itself powerfully diverse. One of the most distinctive, articulate and significant Maori voices is Moana Maniapoto who - first with Moana and the Moahunters and latterly as Moana & the Tribe - has taken her often politically conscious music to festivals across the world. (Graham Reid)

Long acknowledged for having consistently pushed the boundaries of Maori music in both her recordings and live performances, singer/songwriter Moana Maniapoto is a self-confessed political junkie whose lyrics are rooted in the NZ landscape, culture and experience - inspiring her to "produce her own blend of traditional and contemporary styles without compromising either (Graham Reid, music critic)." The NZ Herald described Moana & the Tribe as "the most powerful, enjoyable and important act on the mainstage at Womad 2014 delivering a thumping, visually powerful and cleverly calculated implosion of waiata, haka and electronic-flavoured soul-funk."

Formed in 2002, Moana & the Tribe has played hundreds of stages in Istanbul, Moscow, Florence, Berlin, Warsaw, Toronto, Venice, Shanghai, Seoul, Vienna, Toronto and Taipei. They have taken their haka-funk-dub-fusion to the Herodus Atticus (Athens), Sydney Opera House (Australia) as well as to the Montreux Jazz Festival (Switzerland), Sziget (Budapest), Sarawak and Norway. In July, the band performed in and around Glasgow 2014 as part of the "Boomerang Project" collaboration with Scottish and indigenous Australian musicians.

In 2004, Moana became the first non-American to win a major U.S.A based songwriting contest with her song Moko. Moana beat over 11,000 compositions to win the Grand Jury Prize of the International Songwriting Competition.

Moana is a recipient of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM), a Life Time Recipient of the Toi Iho Maori Made Mark (denoting authenticity and quality) and received the 2005 Te Tohu Mahi Hou a Te Waka Toi Award from Te Waka Toi (Creative New Zealand) in recognition of ‘outstanding leadership and contribution to the development of new directions in Maori art.’

In 2007, Moana joined four other outstanding artists who were made Art Laureates by the NZ Arts Foundation. The following year, Moana was honoured by the Waiata Maori Music Awards for her special contribution to the Maori music industry.

Offstage, Moana is one half of an award-winning documentary team led by her partner and band member Toby Mills. Recent documentaries include ‘Guarding the Family Silver’, which screened in the National Geographic All Roads Film Festival and ‘The Russians are Coming’ which played at the Sydney Opera House during Message Sticks (2012).

The band toured across Europe in 2013, heading into Korea for the first time. In 2014, the band was invited to represent NZ in the tri-nation Boomerang Project, which was launched at Womad NZ, played at the Sydney Opera House then as part of the Glasgow 2014 Festival.

In an era defined by protest and challenge, singer/songwriter Moana is more compelled than ever to connect with audiences in New Zealand and around the world. Reaching back to her musical and cultural roots, Moana crafts songs destined to get feet moving, hearts feeling and minds thinking.


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