Meet our Keynote Speakers


Aroha Mead: Reimagining Conservation

Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Tuhourangi and Ngāi Tūhoe

Mātauranga Māori and Wai262 Advisor for the BioHeritage National Science Challenge and Ngā Rākau Taketake

Aroha is a research director specialising in mātauranga Māori/indigenous knowledge, and indigenous cultural and intellectual property Issues.

Aroha has worked across sectors, including public policy, academia, journalism, Iwi/Māori organisations, as well as national and international NGOs.


Daniel Hikuroa: Taonga, Tikanga, Tūruapō

Ngāti Maniapoto, Waikato-Tainui/Ngaati Whanaunga

Senior Lecturer at the University of Auckland

Dan Hikuroa employs Earth Systems/Environmental Humanities approaches in his work at Waipapa Taumata Rau/University of Auckland and is an established world expert on weaving indigenous knowledge and science to realise the dreams of the communities he works with.

Dan is UNESCO New Zealand Culture Commissioner, AGU Council member, has key roles within New Zealand’s Science Research Sector and is re-imagining/remembering relationships with water. Dan is spearheading alternative ways of assessing sustainability, including weaving indigenous knowledge and epistemologies with science and into legislation, assessment frameworks and decision-support tools.


Graeme Marshall: Collaborating for Success – A crazy ambitious idea that is helping transform how we do Biosecurity

Co-Chair of Tauranga Moana Biosecurity Capital

Graeme is Co-Chair of Tauranga Moana Biosecurity Capital (TMBC) and a director of Kiwifruit Vine Health. He has held a number of Bio security roles including as the chair of the Biosecurity Ministerial Advisory Committee as a director of Kiwifruit Vine  Health and a member of the Biosecurity 2025 Steering Group. He is currently a director of Port Taranaki and Independent Chair of the Mount Air Quality Working Party

During his tenure as Port of Tauranga commercial manager, his portfolio included management of cruise, bulk, break-bulk container operations, marine and security. He has worked in ports since 1978, including as general manager at the Port of Napier. Having chaired Tourism Bay of Plenty, Cruise NZ and been a director of New Zealand’s largest transitional facility, he has extensive knowledge and understanding of the supply chain and biosecurity risk pathways. Graeme is currently regenerating native forest on his Kaimai property

He is passionate about biosecurity and biodiversity and is a strong advocate for the Ko Tātou This is Us campaign.


Jessi Morgan: Community conservation – why is it so hard?

Chief Executive of Predator Free New Zealand

Jessi Morgan is the Chief Executive of the Predator Free New Zealand Trust. Jessi has been with the Trust since its inception in 2013. The Trust’s mission is to inspire, empower and connect people and community groups all over New Zealand in their efforts to suppress and ultimately eradicate pest predators such as rats, possums, mustelids and feral cats.

Before working at the Trust, Jessi led the Million Dollar Mouse fundraising campaign, a joint project between the Morgan Foundation and the Department of Conservation, raising a million dollars to eradicate mice from Antipodes Island. The project was confirmed as successful in early 2018 and endemic species on the island are now thriving. 

She brings business and corporate experience from her previous life as Head of Operations at Trade Me, a role she held for ten years.


Haami Piripi: An Atua Māori Approach

Te Rarawa

Chairman of Te Rūnanga o Te Rarawa


Jack Craw: Science Uptake – Beyond Collaboration

Whangārei Urban Councillor for Northland Regional Council

Jack was a biosecurity manager at Auckland Regional Council/Auckland Council for 11 years, before branching out on his own as a biosecurity consultant for eight years. During this time he lent his expertise to the BioHeritage National Science Challenge and was an integral part of the scoping process throughout 2019. Jack is currently a Northland Regional Councillor.


Catherine Febria: Decolonizing science – An international perspective works well!

Tier 2 Canada Research Chair and Assistant Professor at the University of Windsor

Dr. Febria is a Pinay/Filipina immigrant settler to Turtle Island and a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair and Assistant Professor at the University of Windsor which sits in the Traditional Territory of the Three Fires Confederacy.

The Healthy Headwaters Lab focuses on the ecology and restoration of waterways in human-impacted landscapes through a decolonial approach to science-based discovery and solutions. She is Associate Director of FishCAST a federal science graduate training program, Coordinating Editor for the journal Restoration Ecology, Alumni Fellow of IPBES and the Co-Chair of the International Science Advisory Panel for New Zealand’s Biological Heritage National Science Challenge. 

She received graduate degrees from the University of Toronto and Simon Fraser University and previously held a postdoctoral role at the University of Maryland and was the Director of the Canterbury Waterway Rehabilitation Experiment at the University of Canterbury in Aotearoa, New Zealand. 


Sheridan Waitai: Transformative Practice

Ngāti Kuri

Executive Director of Strategic Relationships and Innovation on the Ngāti Kuri Trust Board

Sheridan Waitai is of Ngāti Kurī descent and grew up in Te Hiku o te Ika.  With significant experience in legislation and the policy environment in relation to indigenous issues, she has contributed to environmental, social, education and health initiatives.

She is the lead for her iwi for the WAI262 Fauna and Flora Claim, and Island work on Motu o Pao (Cape Maria Van Diemen) Manawatāwhi (Three Kings) and  Rangitāhua (Kermadec Islands) and coordinates a range of research projects,  relationships and partners nationally, and globally, to achieve shared prosperity, community resilience and mana motuhake for Whanau, Hapu and Iwi. Sheridan has become a resource person to a number of people and initiatives for bio diversity across the country and has inherited her late grandmother Saana Waitai-Murray’s passion for the welfare of Ngāti Kuri, Whenua and Whakapapa.  She has participated in a number of boards and has experience in the management of forums,  governance and  strategy groups




back to top