More than 250 delegates gathered at Toitoi in Hastings in late November for thrive | kia tōnui ai, the Taituarā Conference.

Delegates were warmly welcomed by Ngāti Kahungunu and Hastings District Council, which included an amazing whaikōrero from MC Mike McRoberts.

Some highlights included:

  • a deeply moving story from Dr Paul Woods – an example of someone who has turned their life around and is now giving back in such a profound way.
  • examples of successful iwi patnerships centred around wairua.
  • the power of culture in shaping a person and restoring mana from from Taaniko and Vienna Nordstrom. They poignantly used the analogy of continuously drawing from a well, and the desire to give back to it… something we can all learn from.
  • the need to listen, take the time to build a relationship and take a leap of faith, understanding te ao Māori and bringing mātauranga Māori alongside western science to get the best outcomes.
  • the importance of whakarongo - to listen and actively work for peace and unanimous decision making with our Māori partners.
  • a sobering warning about the use of AI from our Simpson Grierson partners.
  • that the cost of local government is the equivalent of one week’s average wage, yet the cost of central government tax is 14 weeks.
  • that while it’s tempting to think of the future in a linear way, we were reminded that it’s like to be messy, just as it is now, and that the demographic trends cannot be ignored.

There were so many poignant moments from speakers who were educational, inspirational and deeply moving.

Thanks you to our sponsors; Simpson Grierson, Marsh, Civic, Pwc, Sheffield, GHD, Creative NZ, and our exhibitors; Datacom, Local Government Commission, Allan and Clark, Opal, LGHub and Desktop Imaging.

Click on the button at top right to view full-screen images.

View the photos from day one.
View the photos from day two.