04 - 06 April 2022

The National Social Services Conference

NOTE: Our registrations via Humanitix close Friday, 1st April at 5pm. If in any case you miss the deadline, please reach out to Ayesha at communications@sspa.org.nz for tickets – we will do our absolute best to accommodate you.

Nau Mai, Haere Mai ki Whakamanawa 2022

We are excited to host you virtually at Whakamanawa – The National Social Services Conference this year! Whakamanawa is the only Conference in Aotearoa bringing together social services kaimahi, social sector leaders and influencers. Our mahi alongside children, rangatahi, families and whānau is essential and this is our chance to hui together.

By attending Whakamanawa 2022 you will get to engage with social services and social sector kaimahi from all corners of the motu, while remaining safe in your own location. You’ll have opportunities to learn about and share your whakaaro on the latest developments in government policy, social service practice, workforce development and related kaupapa. You will be inspired by the incredible keynote kaikōrero we have in store for you!

Everyone who works across Aotearoa’s social services and social sector is welcome to attend – this is your conference.

Our Keynote kaikōrero and MC

Here’s where you can learn about the incredible keynote kaikōrero speaking at Whakamanawa 2022. More will be added soon.

Matt Brown

Our first Whakamanawa keynote kaikōrero! Matt is a New Zealand born Samoan, who's working to redefine society’s view of masculinity, helping to end domestic violence in Aotearoa. With his wife Sarah, Matt co-founded She is Not Your Rehab, applying his own experience as a survivor of family violence and childhood sexual abuse. 'She is Not Your Rehab' is an invitation for men to acknowledge their own childhood trauma and take responsibility for their healing, so they can transform their pain instead of transmitting it on others.

Louise Marra

Louise Marra's (Ngāi Tuhoe) leadership experience has spanned all sectors, having held senior leadership and governance roles within Government, the private sector, philanthropy and the NGO sector. She has been an advisor to the Prime Minister, co-director of a company, led a collaborative government office, has aided the set-up of social innovation labs both for the Government and for Foundation North’s Centre for Social Impact. Louise is a founder of Unity House and has been programme director Leadership NZ for the past 12 years. Her passion is helping to build the next era of conscious leadership and conscious organisations, grounded in relationships robust enough to enable radical innovation for an emergent approach to personal, social and environmental change. She believes deep connection to own, others, the environment and the wisdom around us in all of life, enables greater possibility for growth and transformation at all levels. Louise works globally and locally, and her practice is deeply grounded in indigenous principles.

Hon Kelvin Davis

Ko Taumarere te awa.

Ko Puketohunoa te maunga.

Ko Ngati Manu te hapu.

Hon Kelvin Davis is a successful former teacher and school principal who turned a struggling Northland school around, and enabled the students to achieve beyond their potential. In the 2020 Labour Government, Kelvin was appointed Minister for Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti, Minister for Children with responsibility for Oranga Tamariki, Minister of Corrections and Associate Minister of Education. In the 2017 Labour-led Government he was Minister of Corrections, Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti, and Tourism, and Associate Minister of Education. Born and bred in the Bay of Islands but now living in Kaitaia, Kelvin is a man of the north who brings skills in education and Māori issues to the Cabinet table to improve outcomes for all New Zealanders educationally, financially, culturally and socially. He is a person with common sense and pragmatism who is able to relate across all sectors of society, but is most at home either fishing or up in the bush of his beloved Karetu Valley.

Chappie Te Kani

Chappie Te Kani (Ngāti Porou, Te Aitanga a Mahaki, Tūhoe, Ngāti Maniapoto, Rongowhakaata) has held several senior public servant roles including Assistant Commissioner at the Public Service Commission, Head of System Assurance and Continuous Improvement, and Caring for Communities Lead within the COVID-19 Group at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. He was also Acting Chief Executive Te Arawhiti. He joined Oranga Tamariki–Ministry for Children in May 2021 as Deputy Chief Executive Governance and Engagement before being appointed to the role Te Tumu Whakarae Mō Ngā Tamariki | Chief Executive of Oranga Tamariki in late 2021.

Māhera Maihi

Ko Hokianga me Kaipara ngā moana

Ko Ngātokimatawhāorua me Mahuhu-ki-te-rangi ngā waka

Ko Te Tārai o Rāhiri me Tokatoka ngā maunga Ko Te Tārai o Rāhiri 

Ko Te Tārai o Rāhiri me Otamatea ngā marae 

Ko Mangakahia me Otamatea ngā awa

Ko Ngāpuhi me Ngāti Whātua ngā iwi 

Ko Ngāti Toki me Te Uri o Hau ngā hapū 

Ko Māhera Maihi ahau

Māhera is a young dynamic Māori wahine who’s life mission is to change the world one Māori at a time. Raised in Tāmaki Makaurau (Otara, Manurewa and Papakura) as a third generation urban Māori she experienced life as a Māori disconnected from her culture and history. Although gangs and poverty was a part of her childhood experience, this was not going to define her future. Māhera started her career in administration, mastering processes and systems when she finally discovered her true purpose, which is working with young people in care to give them tools to break the cycle for themselves. She has spent eight years working in social services, both in government and iwi spaces in Tai Tokerau and Tāmaki and is currently studying a Masters of Māori and Management. She is a very active member of her whānau, hapū and iwi as a member on her marae board for Te Tārai o Rāhiri, Co-Director of Ngāpuhi ki Tāmaki and founder of Mā Te Huruhuru Charitable Trust, a youth organisation in South Auckland which delivers youth services and youth housing. Coming from a large family of seven sisters and three brothers, Māhera is determined to contribute to improving Māori outcomes, restorative justice and creating a better future for the many generations to come. 

Michèle A’Court

Winner of “Comedian of the Decade” at the 2010 NZ Comedy Awards, Michèle is a stand-up comedian, writer and expert MC. She is a frequent voice on RNZ National’s Nine to Noon and The Panel. Michèle is the Patron of The Aunties, a grassroots charity for women and children in need. She is also Patron of the Moving & Handling Association of New Zealand, which cares for carers in the health sector. Michèle is a proud member of Actors’ Equity, and a Life Member of the NZ Comedy Guild. We are pleased to welcome Michèle back as our Conference MC for the third year.

Conference Programme

Whakamanawa will run across each of the three days from 9:15am-12:30pm, making it an engaging, inspiring and comfortable virtual experience. View the full programme to see what's in store.

Note: Download the full Conference guide here.

If you prefer a word document accessible version, find it here.

Inviting you to take part in our Whakamanawa photo challenge!

'Whakamanawa' means to encourage, inspire, instil confidence and give confidence to. Grab your phone and take a photo of what encourages, inspires and instils confidence for you in your mahi with children, rangatahi and whānau. Tell us briefly (80 words max) what your photo represents and share it on your Facebook page, tag SSPA and include #SSPAwhakamanawa2022. (N.B. If you’re not on Facebook, you can email your photo and description to communications@sspa.org.nz with Whakamanawa Photo Challenge in the subject line)

During the Conference we will be sharing all the photos you send in, creating a collective representation of whakamanawa across our social sector! And for 10 lucky participants, you’ll receive a special prize pack after the Conference.  

Karawhiua - share your Whakamanawa photo with us on Facebook (or by email) today!

Email SSPA Communications Advisor Ayesha Asif if you have any pātai: communications@sspa.org.nz

Be a part of our 'Share your whakamanawa' photo Challenge

SSPA's Whakamanawa Photo!

Here’s the SSPA team’s Whakamanawa photo – this is a hand-crafted rakau featuring a leaf with the name of each SSPA member organisation. The tree is a representation of how our collective SSPA whānau encourages and inspires us in our mahi every day.

What’s your Whakamanawa? 

Conference Supporters

Conference Sponsors

Become a Member of SSPA

You don’t need to be a member of SSPA to attend Whakamanawa, but we always welcome applications to join our rōpū championing community-based social services mahi with children, rangatahi, families and whānau. Members of SSPA

are part of a 200+ strong national network, and you will benefit from SSPA’s sector leadership, and and opportunities to contribute your whakaaro to shape strong outcomes for whanau.

As a member, you’ll receive our weekly e-pānui, and you’ll be the first to hear about upcoming learning and development opportunities, exclusive member hui on important kaupapa, and opportunities to contribute your whakaaro shaping strong outcomes for whānau. All members receive a copy of Kia Mauri Ora, SSPA’s biannual magazine celebrating social service excellence in Aotearoa. Find out more and apply for full or affiliate membership.


Reach out to us if you have any pātai about registration, conference or SSPA membership.


Rachel Grant - Office-Coordinator

M: 027 510 1517

email: office@sspa.org.nz

This website is a sub site of www.sspa.org.nz

Copyright © 2022  Social Service Providers Aotearoa Inc.