National hui 2018 speakers and bios


Mary Chamberlain

Mary is a director of Evaluation Associates and a consultant. She is currently working with a number of organisations on education projects, including as co-chair of the Curriculum, Progress and Achievement Ministerial Advisory Group.

Mary is a thought leader in curriculum and one of New Zealand’s most highly respected educators. She has deep knowledge of the education system and a profound understanding of teaching, learning and assessment, and what it takes to design an effective education 

system. She is highly respected as an education thinker and evaluator.

Mary spent 10 years as a group and senior manager in the Ministry of Education in Wellington. She led the development of the New Zealand Curriculum, the development of Curriculum Exemplars for years 1-10, the design of the National Assessment Strategy and the design of National Standards in literacy and numeracy. She has also been a teacher, principal and adviser to schools. Mary became a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) in the New Year’s Honours announced in 2012 for services to education.

Mary is passionate about achieving more equitable education outcomes. She particularly enjoys solving problems relating to quality teaching and learning at school, regional or system levels.


Dr Lance O’Sullivan - Te Rarawa / Ngati Hau / Ngati Maru

Dr Lance O’Sullivan is a Māori doctor, accomplished author, national and international speaker, role model and disruptive leader and innovator. From a young boy labelled by society as a trouble maker, Lance developed into a passionate advocate for Māori health. He is a pioneer for equal health care in his community and a champion for creating a fairer New Zealand.

In June 2012, Lance made the headlines when he left his former employer after a difference in patient philosophy - he believed in treating patients regardless of whether or not they could afford treatment. He left disillusioned with a system that failed to deliver the care needed for his patients and vowed to change the system for the better.

Now ensconced in the Far North of New Zealand, Lance has set about making this happen. Harnessing the skills he acquired from his cultural heritage and medical training, he and wife Tracy established Navilluso Medical, a health care company committed to developing innovative ways to ensure appropriate and quality health care reach the right people in the right place at the right time.

Lance and Tracy have seven children, 5 boys and 2 girls. They live and work in Kaitaia, a remote and challenged area of rural New Zealand. Lance truly believes that he has led a charmed life and even now reflects on this…

“I used to feel that I should pinch myself to see if how life had played out for me was real or a dream.”

Lance founded The MOKO Foundation. He was inspired by the opportunities that he himself had experienced in life which allowed him to grow and develop into a well-educated, well-rounded family man and community leader.

Lance is truly passionate about and devoted to connecting people with opportunities for a better Aotearoa New Zealand.


Professor Martin Thrupp

Martin is the Head of Te Whiringa School of Educational Leadership and Policy, and Wilf Malcolm Institute of Education Research Professor. His research interests are in education policy with a particular focus on the lived effects of policy across socially diverse and unequal communities. In recent years he has been researching and writing about the enactment of the National Standards policy in New Zealand schools.

His book about the National Standards - 'The Search for Better Educational Standards: A Cautionary Tale' - was recently published. Martin is also working on a comparative study of the privatisation of schooling in Finland, Sweden and New Zealand. In 2012 he received an award from New Zealand's Tertiary Education Union for promoting academic freedom, in 2015 was made Honorary Fellow of NZEI Te Riu Roa and in 2016 received the NZARE McKenzie award for his significant contribution to educational research. 

Moana Maniapoto  - Tūhourangi-Ngāti Wahiao, Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Tūwharetoa

Moana is the leader of Moana & the Tribe. The NZ band has played countless international stages across Europe and Asia, inside the Arctic Circle, within eyeshot of the Kremlin, even on the ancient running track of Olympia.

In 2005, she was the recipient of an award from Creative New Zealand in recognition of ‘outstanding leadership and contribution to the development of new directions in Māori art’. In 2007, she was made an Art Laureate by the NZ Arts Foundation. And in 2016, APRA Amcos inducted Moana into the NZ Music Hall of Fame.

Moana is currently producing her 6th studio album with co-writers Paddy Free and Scotty Morrison. ONO is an international collaboration featuring six female artists from six indigenous nations singing in Language.

Offstage, the mother of two is one half of an award-winning documentary team with her partner Toby Mills. She is currently directing a 7-part documentary series on treaty settlements called The Negotiators. Moana is also a regular contributor to the Māori and Pasifika online weekly magazine e-tangata and just tries to be useful.

Moana believes educators are game-changers. It helps that her family are full of teachers.


Jehan Casinader

Jehan Casinader is obsessed with great Kiwi stories. In 2016, he became the youngest-ever correspondent for TVNZ’s flagship current affairs programme, Sunday. He has a decade of experience reporting for TVNZ’s top news and current affairs shows, including Close Up, Seven Sharp and Breakfast. Jehan specialises in social issues, education and mental health reporting. In 2018, he hosted TVNZ’s first-ever mental health series, The Inside Word.

Journalism is in Jehan’s blood. He filed his first piece for TVNZ’s Holmes programme at the age of 13. Throughout his teens, he wrote for student media, before freelancing for newspapers and magazines. He covered child abuse in Fiji and tsunami relief in the Solomons. He interviewed red carpet stars in New York and found Kiwi success stories in Egypt. Eventually, he landed a career in TV.

Jehan has interviewed Kiwis from all walks of life, including politicians, convicted killers, cancer battlers, survivors of near death experiences, and everyone in between. He has a unique perspective on New Zealand: what fires us up, what makes us proud, what excites us, and what makes us unique. Using examples from the stories he has covered, Jehan will speak about the power of storytelling, as a tool to empower young people and drive social change.