Growing Our Region

Conference to support whānau and whenua

​A one-day conference designed to empower whānau and hapū from along the entire length of the Whanganui River and the wider rohe is being held in June this year.
In response to a need identified by Maori Agribusiness Collective, the “Whānau Leadership Conference” aims to recognise and support the deep connection and relationship between whānau and the natural world.

Organiser Lisa Warbrick, of Smith Warbrick & Associates, said at the heart of whānau is the strong indivisible relationship between land, water and people.

“More than ever before, whānau and the wider community are seeking to forge a path that drives strong, viable options for their land, as well as upholding the values and principles of kaitiakitanga”, she said.

​The conference is an opportunity for whānau, including rangatira, advocates and leaders in kaupapa whenua, and leaders in Māori agribusiness to gather and discuss what model was needed for sound, viable solutions.

“There will be opportunities to share the struggles and successes of business development and identify positive initiatives and programmes which are culturally appropriate for whānau and their communities”, Ms Warbrick said.

She said there was recognition that whānau struggle in the current systems and a different way of navigating whenua Māori is required.

“Collective intergenerational and inter-relational ways of knowing and being are the basis of strong whānau and are not often understood. Therefore, it is the system that is struggling to adjust, as it is designed in isolation”.

The conference is the beginning of a journey designed to stimulate discussion, empower whānau and develop further workshops and programmes with the goal of strengthening and growing knowledge from the grassroots.

Organisations and businesses committed to advancing the activities that benefit whenua and whānau leadership are strongly encouraged to become a sponsor. Both Whanganui District Council and Whanganui & Partners are foundation sponsors.

The Whānau Leadership Conference is being held at the Whanganui War Memorial Centre on Tuesday, 9 June 2020. Registrations will open soon.

For further information, to indicate interest in attending or to sponsor, please contact the organiser:
Lisa Warbrick, Smith Warbrick & Associates, or 021 026 26680