Inspirational speakers lined-up for summit

FOMA chair Traci Houpapa. Supplied photo.

Māori women business leaders and decision makers from throughout Aotearoa will be gathering this month for the annual FOMA Huihuinga Wāhine Māori Leadership Summit.

Convened annually by FOMA (the Federation of Māori Authorities) since 2012, the hui is a forum for the country’s leading and emerging wāhine Māori to come together to share experiences and discuss issues related to developing and strengthening Māori economic outcomes, as well as to foster networks and establish connections.  

Postponed from 2020 due to Covid-19 and originally scheduled to take place in February and further delayed due to Auckland’s lockdown, Huihuinga Wahine will now be held on Thursday, April 22, at Villa Maria Estate, Manukau.

After the Covid delays, this hui is much anticipated, and includes an array of 10 impactful and influential speakers.

FOMA chair Traci Houpapa is an award-winning company director and a recognised business leader, named amongst the BBC’s 100 Most Influential Women in the World.

As a trusted advisor to Māori, Government, and public and private sector entities, Traci’s focus is on building Aotearoa’s wealth and prosperity.

  • Huihuinga Wāhine reminds us of the unique role we play as wāhine in Aotearoa’s business community and enables us to create a safe and secure space for new leaders to emerge and thrive.

“Speakers at this event are Māori women excelling in their respective fields, who embody the qualities of mana motuhake and tino rangatiratanga and who speak from their hearts and mind on issues and experiences relevant to all Māori women. Those attending are able to gain perspective from the speakers’ journeys and feel a renewed sense of commitment and value,” says Houpapa.

Presenters include Karleen Everitt, CEO of Manaaki Solutions Ltd and CIC Rapu Mahi; Ngaahina Hohaia, whose contemporary sculpture has been exhibited internationally; Les Elder, Black Ferns Captain; Donna Awatere Huata, Māori Climate Change Commissioner; Dr Hinemoa Elder, Māori strategic leader in brain research; Annette Sykes, Change Maker and Lawyer; Liz Mellish, deputy chair of FOMA; Katrina Fanning, Australian Women’s Rugby League legend and recognised Aboriginal Torres Strait Island leader and director of Coolman Advisors and Caren Rangi, professional director with extensive commercial experience in Aotearoa and Cook Islands. Ngapera Riley, CEO of Figure NZ, will MC the event.

“FOMA recognises that this last year hasn’t been kind to women, particularly Māori. Māori have experienced a greater impact from past recessions in Aotearoa, and the downturn ensuing from Covid will be no different. Events such as Huihuinga Wāhine are as important as ever, a vital means of showcasing wāhine leaders, because when we thrive, so do our whānau, our communities and our country,” says Houpapa.

“With the Māori economy booming, we are busier than ever.

“This is a rare chance for us to get together for a day and share experiences, learn from the speakers and to rest and revitalise.”

In addition to the speakers, the event will feature the ‘Huihuinga Wahine Powder Room,’ where entrepreneurs will showcase their products including O Te Motu Creations, Rebecca Boyce Creations, Hana Botanicals and Tuhi Stationery.

FOMA brings over 35 years of industry and economic experience to its strategic partnerships with industry and government.  It exists to help its members prosper and grow. 

FOMA knows intergenerational wealth and wellbeing is critical to Māori economic development and to the overall economic success of Aotearoa. 

Tickets are still available at -

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