Dr Sarah-Jane Paine

Dr Sarah-Jane Paine - Keynote Speaker

Research Director - Growing Up in New Zealand

Sarah-Jane is Growing Up in New Zealand's Research Director. She is an experienced Kaupapa Māori epidemiologist and has been involved in an extensive range of projects investigating ethnic inequities in health and the determinants of health across the life-course. Sarah-Jane is a Senior Lecturer at Te Kupenga Hauora Māori, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland. She teaches Māori Health and Kaupapa Māori research methods across a number of undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Dr Ganesh Nana

Dr Ganesh Nana

Chair - NZ Productivity Commission Te Kōmihana Whai Hua o Aotearoa

Ganesh is a first-generation New Zealander, born, bred, and educated in Te Whanganui a Tara. His interest in economics originally emanated from his love of numbers, which in turn arose out of his passion for cricket. Ganesh was recently appointed Chair of the Productivity Commission Te Kōmihana Whai Hua o Aotearoa, after 22 years at the consultancy Business and Economics Research Limited (BERL). Prior to BERL, Ganesh acted as primary caregiver to his pre-school children while also employed as part-time lecturer at Victoria University. Before children, Ganesh managed to explore some parts of the world – including working in England as a researcher in the House of Commons gaining experience with IMF and OECD economic models. On his way home to Aotearoa he spent several months visiting family and ancestral lands across India. Ganesh believes economics is fundamentally about people and their communities, and is best reflected in our collective role as kaitiaki o taonga.

Jacinta Fa'alili-Fidow

Jacinta Fa’alili-Fidow

Chief Executive Officer - Moana Connect

Jacinta has extensive leadership and management experience in health research, public health and Pacific wellbeing in New Zealand. Her work aims to bridge government, academia and Pacific communities to champion authentic positive change for Pacific. As the founding Managing Director of Moana Research, Jacinta empowers the importance of Pacific world-views, and the prominence of self-determination in all Moana Research work, including evaluation, research and advocacy. Jacinta has worked for Pacific health provider WestFono, as Manager Pacific Health Research with the Health Research Council, and as Senior Advisor, Pacific for the Public Health Group in the Ministry of Health. After the Ministry of Health, Jacinta was shoulder tapped to manage TAHA Pacific Maternal and Child Health Service at the University of Auckland. Having completed her Master of Public Health (Honours), Jacinta is undertaking a PhD at the Centre for Longitudinal Studies – Growing Up in New Zealand Study, investigating the concept of Resilience among Pacific families within the cohort.

Dr Jin Russell

Dr Jin Russell

Consultant Developmental Paediatrician - Starship Children's Health

Jin is a Consultant Developmental Paediatrician at Starship Children's Health and a Community Paediatrician with Planning, Funding, & Outcomes at Waitematā District Health Board. Jin's PhD research is with Growing Up in New Zealand in the field of life course epidemiology. Jin has won competitive research grants and clinical awards, including a New Zealand Health Research Council Clinical Training Fellowship, a 2020 Starship Foundation Fellowship, a Royal Australasian College of Physicians Trainee Research Excellence Award, the W W Phillips Prize in Medicine and the Senior Prize in Biology. Her research interests are in the developmental health of populations, with a focus on the early years, life course epidemiological methods and the social determinants of health. Her research skills include advanced epidemiology and biostatistics for quantitative analysis. She believes that inequities in early developmental health can unjustly impact how capabilities form within children, and that addressing these inequities is essential to creating flourishing societies.

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Dr Tahlia Kingi


Tahlia is a proud māmā to three beautiful boys. She is a Clinical Psychologist based in Rotorua, and has a PhD in Psychology and a Graduate Diploma in Neuroscience. She is passionate about empowering Māori whānau to understand our traditional child-rearing practices in order for our pēpi to thrive in their early years.

Roimata Taniwha Pao’o

Roimata Taniwha Pao’o

Brainwave / The Southern Initiative

Roimata was born and raised in Otara. She was privileged with being raised in and around Te Ao Māori with Te Reo being her first language. Rongoa Māori (traditional Māori medicine) was a core component of her upbringing, this later contributed to her love of merging sciences and Te Ao Māori and using that merge to connect with whanau. With a background in teaching and in the public sector, Roi thrives on pushing the system to create better outcomes for whanau. Roimata is mum to 4 tamariki, 2 girls and 2 boys who she is raising in Manurewa with her husband Harrington.

Brainwave Kaiako - Jason

Jason Tiatia - Host


Jason is a Brainwave Kaiako from Christchurch. He is a programme coordinator and tutor at the Institute of Canterbury. He teaches sports coaching and indigenous studies, and tutors in pacific performing arts and Gagana Sāmoa. Jason represented New Zealand in the All Black Rugby 7’s and spent time playing in several countries and has been a selector and coach in the Canterbury region. He is a respected leader in Pacific communities in Canterbury.

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Sessions will be available in January 2023.

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