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.
New Zealander Nicola ‘Nix’ Adams’ life spiralled out of control when she lost a child and turned to drugs to mask the pain.
Her husband left their home in Victoria, Australia for New Zealand with their other two children and Adams ended up in jail.
When she left jail two years ago, she made a Facebook video as a way to reconnect with her family as she climbed out of this personal hell.
And her hard-case personality and sharp tongue won her a heap of fans – more than 200,000 people follow her Facebook page: Cooked Whanau Korero with Nix.
Now clean and sober and back in Aotearoa, she’s got a new venture underway with comedian Pio Terei. His new show on Maori TV is called Terei Tonight which is being likened to a Kiwi version of Graham Norton, with interviews and live performances.
Adams is joining Terei for the comedy skit segments on the new show.
The pair met over lunch when it was suggested Adams should be involved in the show and there was an instant connection, Terei says.
“I just loved her tenacity and her vulnerability, and her honesty.”
Terei has also lost a child, which further cemented their bond.
He says he wanted Terei Tonight to be real, and Adams’ authenticity shines through.
“The thing is with Nix, and many, many, many people around the world, she stood at the black door.
“You know what I mean by the black door? At the end of your road the only way is to go up and you dig deep and all these beautiful things come out and it takes a lot of courage.
“They say television should be a reflection of who we are; well who’s reflecting people like Nix? Who’s the hero for a lot of our whānau out there who are really struggling, and I think Nix fits that for our whānau to say ‘good on ya girl, kia kaha, we’re in your corner.
Ian was brought up in a small East Coast village on the North Island of New Zealand. He was seven when electricity arrived at his home. It was 1957. The telephone arrived a couple of years later. He didn’t know it at the time but three years after he got electricity at his house, New Zealand got its first computer.
Ian’s story mirrors New Zealand’s growth from its days as an agriculture-based economy. He laboured in the freezing works during the school holidays. Through the swinging 60s and 70s he was a singer in a rock and roll band, before being called up in the army. By 1980, he had completed a law degree and started an entirely new career in television, where he was part of an industry that went from black-and-white film to colour video and on into the digital age.
Ian founded Animation Research Ltd (ARL) in 1990 on nothing more than a handshake with the Vice Chancellor of the University of Otago. They bought their first hard drive to make their first TV commercial in 1991. It cost $15,000 and had 1 GB of memory. The computer they used for the America’s Cup in 1992 was the size of a small fridge and cost $500,000. Everything they did on that computer they can now do a mobile phone.
Today, working from their base in Dunedin, ARL covers sports events all over the world. They also have a joint venture with Airways New Zealand, who market the Air Traffic Control Simulator they built for them. They had never built one before. They continue to service the F1 Race Car simulator they built for one of the world’s leading F1 Race Teams. They had never built one before. They built an online Risk Assessment platform for one of the world’s largest mining companies. They had never built one before. They built an online application to demonstrate the power of the IBM cloud-based analytics engine, which they presented to a conference of 22,000 delegates. They built it in three weeks. They had never built one of those before, either.
In 2019, Ian started Land of Voyagers which he says is the “most important work of his life.” Land of Voyagers documents the Polynesian voyage to Aotearoa in a way that’s never been done before, in order educate New Zealanders and to celebrate the incredible story of our Polynesian ancestors.
Ian says he uses the word ‘we’ very loosely. He claims he has no idea how any of this stuff is done. ‘We are where we are because of a very small team who, from day one, arrived with open minds and a belief that there was nothing they couldn’t do. The fact that we only do stuff we like probably helps. In the words of Lord Ernest Rutherford – “We didn’t have the money, so we had to think.” We didn’t discover the digital world: it discovered us. We had already decided that we would take on the world from Dunedin – next stop the South Pole! Someone invented the internet, and they gave us our highway to that world. We have been travelling it ever since.’
As a sought-after speaker, Shay gives talks on social enterprise, entrepreneurial success, the future, indigenous development, and building young leaders. He has spoken at Forbes events, CEO Summits University graduation ceremonies and conferences in New Zealand and around the world.
Tackling Poverty… sharing ideas about system change, empowering people to increase their incomes, and helping communities create world-class enterprises
Mrs Helen Varney has been a well-regarded principal for many years, most recently as Principal of Target School, Totara Vale from 2012 to 2020.
Mrs Varney oversaw growth in the roll of Target School, of which 30 percent are learning English as a second language and received strong Education Review Office reports during her tenure. She has been Secretary of the New Zealand Pasifika Principals Association (NZPPA) since 2016, President of North Shore Principals in 2016 and of the Auckland Primary Principals Association in 2018. In 2020, she was appointed Director and Lead Facilitator of Tautai o le Moana – Navigators of the Ocean, a partnership with the Ministry of Education, NZPPA and New Zealand Principals’ Federation. She ran the successful pilot of this programme over 18 months, which supports principals of Pasifika students to build their capability as school leaders to improve outcomes for Pacific learners, and is leading the initiative into its scale-up with the next cohort of principals. She is a qualified facilitator in the Māori Achievement Collaboratives for school leaders to improve outcomes for Māori learners. She has contributed an Auckland and Pasifika perspective to numerous Ministry of Education and inter-agency working groups. Mrs Varney has mentored teachers to become principals.
Dr Paul Wood is an expert in helping people and organisations strive towards their potential, navigate change and flourish through adversity. Paul works with everyone from World Champion athletes to Fortune 100 companies.
He is a regular contributor in the media and his recently released book How to Escape from Prison was an instant bestseller.
Paul’s presentation at TEDx Auckland, the largest TEDx event in the world, has received more than 300,000 views on YouTube and was named one of the Top 10 TED talks by the New Zealand Herald.
Paul’s passion for the pursuit of excellence and turning adversity to advantage comes from his own journey from delinquent to doctor. Paul will be using this journey to illustrate some key lessons for us all.