Te Rōpū Marutau o Aotearoa

Last Event Speakers

Our keynote speakers includes some well-known and successful Māori business elites from our era. Join the conference and take a step closer to workplace health and safety from an indigenous perspective.

Hon. Willie Jackson, Minister for Māori Development of New Zealand

Hon. Willie Jackson (born 1961) is a former urban Māori chief executive and award-winning radio and television broadcaster. He grew up in Porirua and Māngere, and attended Māngere College in his teenage years. Jackson previously worked as a trade union organiser, record company executive, broadcaster, sports talkback radio host and urban Māori advocate.
Primarily based in Auckland, he has supported the rights of Māori and urban Māori nationally for many years with a focus on community development particularly in South Auckland. He has been at the forefront in terms of advancing community interests, local initiatives and whānau aspirations.

Speaking at: 9:30AM

Dr. Tom Roa, (Ngāti Maniapoto, Waikato)

Dr Tom Roa (Ngāti Maniapoto, Waikato) is a Tainui leader and Manukura / Professor in the University of Waikato’s Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao – Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies, and is a familiar figure on marae throughout Tainui and the country. Tom’s PhD examined questions about the theory and practices of Māori to English language translation and interpretation. Over the years, Tom has been a leading figure helping to bring the Māori language into the mainstream, and he is one of the founders of Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori movement in the 1970s.

Speaking at: 10:00AM

VK (Vance) Walker, (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa, Rangitāne)

Ko Hikurangi Te Maunga, Ko Waiapu Te Awa, Ko Ngāti Porou Te Iwi, Ko Ngāti Rangi te Hapu ko Vance Walker ahau. Previously an inspector for WorkSafe NZ and Critical Risk Advisor with Waka Kotahi, Vance is now an independent research practitioner. Current research clients include WorkSafe NZ, Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington and Lloyd’s Register Foundation, an independent global charity. Whereas practicing clients include high tempo geothermal and wind generation construction projects. Vance serves on the New Zealand Institute of Safety Management Board and is a member of the national association for Māori health and safety professionals, Te Rōpū Marutau o Aotearoa. Always drawn to things Māori, his main contribution centers on connecting Māori culture with conventional health and safety practice.

Speaking at: 11:20AM

Andy Milne, Deputy Chief Executive, Strategy, Engagement and Planning – ACC

Andy joined ACC in September 2022 from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), where he was the Deputy Secretary for Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ).
Prior to MBIE, Andy was Deputy National Commissioner at the Department of Corrections. Originally from the United Kingdom, Andy had an extensive career in the British police, including as a senior officer investigating fatal road crashes – an experience which makes him particularly passionate about ACC’s Prevention focus.
The Strategy, Engagement and Planning group leads development and implementation of ACC’s Strategy, through activities that support continuous improvement of ACC and enterprise planning. The group comprises our strategy and customer insights, enterprise planning, Government engagement, customer engagement, and performance and intelligence functions.

Speaking at: 1:00PM

Phil Parkes, Chief Executive – Worksafe

Phil is the Chief Executive of WorkSafe. Taking up the role in 2020, Phil has held several leadership positions at WorkSafe since 2014. Phil’s previous role was Chief Operating Officer, leading our Operations Group of over 300 employees, including High Hazards, Energy and Public Safety, Health and Safety Innovation, Operational Excellence, our General Inspectorate, Specialist Interventions, and Health and Technical Services. Phil also brings extensive regulatory and leadership experiences from previous roles in local and central government in New Zealand and the UK. Phil joined WorkSafe from the New Zealand Environmental Protection Authority. He was General Manager Policy and Legal, leading the implementation of a new regulatory framework for environmental effects of off-shore petroleum and mineral activities in the Exclusive Economic Zone.
Phil has a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Health and an MSc in Environmental Management and has completed an executive leadership course with Mt Eliza Business School.

Speaking at: 1:20PM

Vicky-Lee Wihongi, (Ngāti Koata, Tainui)

Vicki Lee Wihongi  (Ngāti Koata, Tainui) was born in Wairoa to Dave and Wini Hemi but largely raised in Kirikiriroa.  Eldest of 7 children, 5 of them loving brothers and a talented baby sister.  Crowned as Miss New Zealand in 1980, Graduated from Hamilton Teacher’s College in 1981 and taught in Auckland.  Married Strantz Wihongi in 1983 and moved to California where they raised 5 children and worked in business management and marketing roles.  Came home to New Zealand in 2008.  Returned to teaching earning 2 Masters Degrees over the years.  Currently Kaitiaki of a Hauora Centre and a counsellor working with Kirikiriroa based and National Māori Counsellor Rōpū.  Blessed with beautiful children, in-law children and 17 moko.

Speaking at: 1:40PM

Pene (Benjamin) Wahanui Hemi, (Ngāti Koata, Tainui)

Pene (Ngāti Koata, Tainui) is a father of four, papa to three and says once of his greatest successes, is that his wife of over 30 years, still loves him. Professionally Pene has experience in managing events nationally and internationally, has worked for event venues, councils, a circus, has contracted privately and has played a major role in the planning and management of the 2006 World Waka Ama Sprint Champs and the 2014 Land War Commemorations.  Over the past 6 years Pene has been the Health and Safety Adviser for Tainui Group Holdings, supported Waikato Tainui with their major events and has served as a trustee for TRMA while also supporting his iwi as a trustee for Ngāti Koata.

Master of Ceremony: 9:15AM  |  Speaking at: 2:40PM

Thanks to our
2023 Event Sponsors

It is not possible to host this event without helping hands. We have several sponsors who volunteer to help us physically and financially to make things happen.