Pio Terei MNZM has turned his many talents into a stellar career as a musician, comedian, actor, whānau advocate, speaker, and hunter-gatherer presenter. From Māori radio he moved to screen comedy; Pete and Pio, The Life and Times of Te Tutu; drama Mataku, No 2; entertainment Big Saturday Night In, It’s In The Bag; travel Intrepid Journeys, Te Araroa: Tales From The Trails, Off The Grid; and food Kai Safari, Tangaroa.
Pio Terei is one of television’s great survivors. He has carved himself a career as a Māori entertainer and feels passionate about both those roles. He has always been proud of being Māori. He has always entertained easily and effortlessly in the way of his people. Pio derives sustenance from being a part of the wider whakapapa of Māori entertainment. Ancestors in that illustrious family tree include the marae orators and singers of his Tai Tokerau tribes. More recent forebears include the Māori showband generation and iconic greats like Ricky May, Tūī Teka, Sir Howard Morrison and Billy T James. Pio has always used his skills in the tradition of someone who is the total package: Singer, musician and comic.
Dr Melanie Riwai-Couch (Rangitāne o Wairau, Ngāti Kuia, Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō) has worked for over two decades in the education sector as a teacher, a tumuaki at a kura kaupapa Māori, a senior advisor for iwi and the Ministry of Education, and an education consultant.
Her experiences have provided her with an in-depth understanding of effective partnerships under Te Tiriti o Waitangi, issues of sovereignty for iwi, and how to help whānau find and use their voices in education.
Dr Melanie Riwai-Couch has a Master of Education, a PhD from the University of Canterbury, and is a registered teacher
Nathan Wallis is a father of three & foster parent with a professional background in child counselling, teaching and social service management.
He lectured in Human Development at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand and was also a board member and senior trainer with the national body responsible for the dissemination of neuroscientific research to professionals.
He has developed a reputation as a lively and engaging speaker who uses humour and plain language to make this complex topic come to life.
Nathan is a regular on Radio and Television shows in New Zealand, sharing his expertise on child development. In 2010 he founded a private training consultancy, X Factor Education Limited, with the goal of facilitating easy to understand professional development training reflecting the latest neuroscience discoveries and their practical implications for everyday practice. Since then he has been in hot demand, delivering well over 200 presentations year in New Zealand Australia and internationally.
Ki te taha o toku matua ko Ngāti Whakaue toku iwi. Ki te taha o toku whaea ko Ngāpuhi, ko Ngāti Kahu, ko Ngāti Hau ōku iwi
Professor Melinda Webber is a former Fulbright/Nga Pae o te Maramatanga Scholar who has published widely on the nature of Māori identity. Melinda’s research examines the ways race, ethnicity, culture and identity impact the lives of young people, particularly Māori students.
In 2016, Melinda was awarded a prestigious Marsden Fast-Start grant to undertake a research project examining the distinctive identity traits of Ngāpuhi, New Zealand’s largest iwi, and in 2017 Melinda was awarded an esteemed Rutherford Discovery Fellowship to tackle an important question facing educators – ‘How can we foster cultural pride and academic aspiration among Māori students?’
Professor Melinda Webber is currently Te Tumu, Deputy Dean in the Faculty of Education and Social Work.
She was the 2017 Director for Phase Three of The Starpath Project and is currently the University of Auckland Co-Director for the Atlantic Fellowship for Social Equity programme and Associate Director of the Woolf Fisher Research Centre. She also spent six years as a co-principal Investigator on the Nga Pae o te Maramatanga funded project ‘Ka Awatea’ which examined the nature of teaching, learning and home socialisation patterns that support high-achieving Māori students in New Zealand.
Over the past decade of work, Marcus Winter and his “Sand Art” has become established as a rising success story within the cultural and artistic landscape of Aotearoa, Winter’s work has achieved both critical and commercial success with placements in major advertising campaigns and events across the Pacific.
Winter’s artistic passion stems from his culture, ancestry, country and desire to promote and preserve Te Ao Maori on an international scale. A largely self-taught artist, Winter has proved his adeptness across a range of mediums with his sand animations requiring a rare skill-set involving AV production, editing and script-writing.
Airline pilot, Everest mountaineer, adventurer and extreme marathon competitor Mike Allsop is an ordinary family man proving that anybody can accomplish extraordinary things.
Mike Allsop grew up in a single parent home in Auckland. Life wasn’t always easy. But Mike never wavered in his dream of becoming an airline pilot with Air New Zealand. He single-mindedly pursued this goal, breaking it down into smaller parts then focusing on each step in turn. He began by obtaining a pilot’s licence and a job with a small commuter airline. Things took a dramatic turn when a flight to deliver a Twin Otter aircraft from the USA to New Zealand led to a crash landing into the sea hundreds of kilometres off the coast of Hawaii in the dark of night. The US Coast Guard colonel who eventually rescued Mike and his crew commented that nobody else had ever survived a crash landing into that part of the ocean!
As well as becoming an Air New Zealand captain, Mike harboured another ambition. One day, he wanted to stand upon the roof of the world and summit Everest. True to form, he broke the goal down and gained the necessary skills and experience by testing himself on difficult and potentially hazardous climbs across 6 different continents. Many were usually only tackled by vastly more experienced climbers. However Mike Allsop is living proof that his philosophy of ‘if you believe you can, you will’.
He has reached every goal in spectacular fashion, including becoming an international airline pilot with Air New Zealand and ascending Everest in an unguided expedition.
He has since gone on to conquer numerous other mountains, pitting himself against the limits of human endurance and the unpredictable weather conditions that abound at extreme altitudes. He’s narrowly dodged a fatal avalanche in Peru, risked being shot in Russia and returned a replica of a stolen Yeti hand to a monastery in Nepal. Mike is also one of a handful of athletes who have ever run 7 marathons in 7 days on 7 continents. This raised NZ$75,000 for New Zealand charity KidsCan. Most recently, Mike returned to the Himalayas to run the world’s highest marathon around Everest – a feat never before attempted. Backed only by a Sherpa team, he trekked to 5,630 metres above sea level. There he ran a distance of 42.2 kilometres
(22.6 miles) in temperatures of -30 degC (-22degF), setting a new world record. This feat is captured in the documentary film ‘Chasing Altitude’ aimed at young people everywhere, showing that they too can achieve their dreams and ambitions by overcoming the fear of failure and breaking each goal into a series of smaller steps.