Luamanuvao Dame Winnie Laban

Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Pasifika) 
Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington. Aotearoa
DipSocWk Wgtn, PGDipDevStud Massey

Luamanuvao Dame Winifred Laban DNZM QSO is a former New Zealand politician. She served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Mana electorate, representing the Labour Party. Laban is now the Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Pasifika) at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington and is a respected leader in the local Pasifika community. In 1992, Laban was bestowed the Samoan matai chiefly title Luamanuvao from the village of Vaiala, Vaimauga, in recognition of her work.[1] In the 2011 New Year Honours, she was appointed a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order for services as a Member of Parliament. She was appointed a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours, for services to education and the Pacific community.
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Dr Lyn Carter

Kai Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, Waitaha, Te Rapuwai
Otago University (Emeritus), Aotearoa
BA, MA and PhD in both Social Anthropology and Māori Studies.

Dr Lyn Carter has a PhD from the University of Auckland and before retirement was a Senior Lecturer at Te Tumu: School of Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies at the University of Otago. Lyn taught in the programme for Indigenous Development. Her main research area is environmental literacy with a key focus on Indigenous development and sustainability in the context of climate change. Lyn represents her Rūnaka, Kāti Huirapa ki Puketeraki on the Queenstown Lakes District Council Spatial Plan working group; and the Queenstown Lakes District Council Climate Reference Group. She represents the three Otago Rūnaka on the Otago Regional Council, Strategy and Planning Committee. Her publications include the recent book, Indigenous Pacific Approaches to Climate Change: Aotearoa/New Zealand.
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Tokintekai Bakineti

World Bank – Pacific Regional Oceanscape Project, KIRIBATI
Diploma in Tropical Agriculture (USP, Samoa), BSc-Agronomy and Soil Science (Univ. Hawaii), MA (Sussex Univ, UK)

A trained Community Development Specialist with a key focus on improving community resilience and adaptation to the impact of climate change and disaster risks. Currently involved in research activities that aim to describe the vulnerability situation of communities and islands to support informed decision making at the national level. Very keen and enjoy working with people in the community, especially the marginalized social groups..
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Dr Rebecca Kiddle

Ngāti Porou, Ngā Puhi
Hutt City Council, Aotearoa

Rebecca Kiddle has expertise in urban design. Specifically: Decolonising Aotearoa New Zealand Cities + Indigenous place identities; Māori housing and urban design; Spatial Justice; Rangatahi (youth) involvement in built environment decision-making; Urban and suburban spaces for community building and third places; and the politics of the production of place. She has worked as a senior academic at Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington and is now Head of Urban Development at Hutt City Council. She is co-author of Imagining Decolonisation (2020).
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Ihaia Puketapu

Te Āti Awa, Ngāti Ruapani, Ngāi Tūhoe
BA Māori Resource Management

Ihaia grew up in the communal marae community at Waiwhetu, Lower Hutt, and lives there today. He trained through Tohunga Whakairo, under Rangi Hetet, and was influenced by learning about the connection between tribal migrations over centuries long passed and the associated development between pa building, iwi dialect and whakapapa connections, as well as oral histories from many related tribes.
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Dr Anita Latai-Niusulu

National University of Samoa, Samoa

Anita is a Geography lecturer and the Head of the Department of Social Sciences at the National University of Samoa.  Her research activities have focused on explorations of islanders’ resilience and survival strategies, climate change and other environmental challenges affecting islanders, sustainability, environmental governance / management, urban and children’s geographies.  Her hobbies include spending time in her garden, playing with her son and having a laugh with her colleagues at the Faculty of Arts’ Round Table.
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Alison Anitawaru Cole

South Taranaki Ngāruahine, Ngāti Ruanui, and Taranaki Whānui
Principal Indigenous Law, Human Rights & Environment Consultant, Aotearoa New Zealand
LLM Graduate Masters in Law, Henigson Fellowship for 1st in Human Rights, Bachelor of Arts in Law, First Class Honours, Graduated 1st in College, 5th in Faculty

My Grandfather gifted me my ingoa Māori in the tradition of the Taranaki warrior Titokowaru who put down his weapons to join the peace movement at Parihaka. Little did I know how prophetic his name for me would be. I began my career as a war crimes investigator with the United Nations, documenting atrocities in the Rwandan genocide, the Sierra Leone civil war, the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, across the Middle East and the African continent. After this frontline experience, I moved into justice policy work based out of New York, then moved to the University of Hong Kong as a Senior Lecturer, before returning home to Aotearoa to work on the Commission of Inquiry into war crimes allegations in Afghanistan. After 20 years, coming home marked the beginning point of my departure from the war zone, and I moved back to my rohe in Ohawe to work the mara, share homegrown kai, and serve as kaitiaki through work in climate justice and environmental protection.

My happiest times as a child was working with my Grandfather in his workshop learning the art of whakairo. He worked on the buses his whole life and lived in State Housing in Porirua. Shortly before he died, I was moved into foster care as a ward of State. This period had a profound impact on my life. I gained direct insights on the nature of social injustice and structural inequality. This is a big part of my motivation to contribute to uplifting my community and working to address the challenges of our time. With climate change, we all hold the responsibility to urgently act to preserve our planet for future generations. Te Ao Māori and indigenous worldviews are perhaps the only pathway towards a sustainable future. Through the support of my extended community, I was able to graduate with first class honours from Cambridge University, where I was the first person in the 800 year history of the University to graduate in bare feet, wearing my iwi colours and piupiu. The next year I received my postgraduate degree in law from Harvard Law School as the recipient of the University’s fellowship for the highest grades in the study of human rights. I do my mahi for my Koro and all who will follow us.

Image: My Grandfather carved the wooden waka huia and tiki, the pounamu tiki is from my Māori naming ceremony, and the whalebone tiki was gifted to him from our marae. Gran’s piupiu was gifted to me at my graduation with her pounamu earrings. Our tipuna ancestors are our taonga. Kia ora to Soliders Road Portraits. Mauri Ora!

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Willy Missack

National Biodiversity Conservation Specialist and Project Coordinator, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, Vanuatu
Bachelor of Sciences, Technologies, Health, Specialising in the Life, Earth and Environmental Sciences and Master of Sciences, Technologies, Health, Majoring in Environmental Sciences, Specialising in Integrated Environmental Management

Willy Missack was the Vanuatu Climate Action Network (VCAN) coordinator and Pacific Climate Change Collaboration Influence Learning (PACCCIL) Project Coordinator at Oxfam, Vanuatu and Vanuatu’s Negotiator on Adaptation and Loss and Damage since COP23. He is engaged in many climate change work in Vanuatu; and was first awarded youth of Vanuatu by Queen Elizabeth II in 2015 with a Queen Young Leaders’ Award for its service to the Vanuatu community. At the regional level, he is serving as the Oceania Regional Coordinator for Conference Of Youth (COY16) and the One Young World (OYW) Coordinating Ambassador of the Pacific.
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Dave Loubser

Managing Director and Lead consultant, Ecosystem Services Ltd. Aotearoa New Zealand
BSc and BSc (Hons) Wits, MSc (Appl. Sc) , UCT, MRSNZ

Dave Loubser is an environmental scientist with a specialisation in Forest-based Ecosystem Services and their importance to indigenous societies, particularly across the Pacific and in Africa. Dave has worked globally but has more recently been actively involved with work on Ecosystem-based Adaptation in both urban and rural communities in Vanuatu, Kiribati, Niue, PNG and the Solomon Islands. Much of this work has focused on the importance of the zone where the marine and terrestrial ecosystems meet, this is the area that provides for much of the food, cultural and economic security of island people, as well as the area that harbours some of the greatest contemporary challenges to these same communities. Dave is the Chairperson of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) – Commission for Ecosystem Management’s Islands Specialist Group and is based on the Kapiti Coast.
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