Sometimes in life you get more than you bargained for – a free game of pinball, an extra-large scoop of ice-cream, a double-yolker egg.  This week sees an exciting two-for-one keynote speaker announcement.

In what is probably a conference first, this year will see a father-daughter keynote speaker combo on the stage with Tā Tīpene O’Regan and his daughter Hana presenting a joint session.

Hana O'ReganHana O’Regan was raised in Wellington in a family immersed in Māori Treaty and identity politics. She received her secondary schooling at Queen Victoria Māori Girls Boarding School in Auckland before becoming an American Field Scholar in Thailand for one year. Hana returned to pursue an undergraduate degree with a double major in Māori Studies and Political Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington.

Upon graduating, Hana took up a lecturing position at University of Otago where she lectured for four years in the areas of Māori language, creative writing and the Treaty. During this time Hana undertook post-graduate study and graduated with her Master of Arts in 1997. The topic of her thesis, Māori tribal identity development, became the basis of her book, Ko Tahu Ko Au – Kāi Tahu Tribal Identity which was published in 2000.

Hana left Otago in 1997 to take up a position at CPIT (Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology) where she headed the Māori language programme before taking up the position of Head of School in 2000. After four years at CPIT Hana took up the position of Manager of the Māori Language Unit of the Ngāi Tahu tribal organisation where she helped develop and lead the tribal language strategy for a further four years. She returned to CPIT as Dean of Te Puna Wānaka, the new Faculty of Māori Studies, in 2006.

Hana has been a member of The Māori Language Commission – Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori – since 2003. The bulk of Hana’s recent publications has been centred on Kāi Tahu tribal stories and histories for rakatahi, and most recently published an anthology of Māori poetry, Kupu with co-author Charisma Rangipunga.

She is the proud mum of two beautiful children.

Tīpene O'ReganSir Tipene O’Regan is Assistant-Vice-Chancellor Maori at the University of Canterbury, Chairman of Ngā Pae o Te Maramatanga, the Centre for Maori Research Excellence at the University of Auckland  and Upoko of the Awarua Runanga of Ngai Tahu. He has published and lectured extensively over many years  on Ngai Tahu traditional history, Polynesian migration, Treaty issues and the evolution of biculturalism and the wider politics of Māoridom.

In more recent years he has been a noted contributor to the debate on the forward development of the Māori economy and the modernising of tribal institutions. He holds three Honorary degrees ;  a D.Litt from the University of Canterbury and Honorary doctorates of Commerce from both Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington.

As Chairman of the Ngai Tahu Maori Trust Board he led the Board through the hearings of the Ngai Tahu Claim before the Waitangi Tribunal and the subsequent negotiations with the Crown culminating in the Ngai Tahu Treaty Settlement of 1998.  He was a major architect and negotiator of the Treaty fisheries settlements of  1989 and 1992 and the founding Chairman of the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission.

He is a Distinguished Fellow of the Institute of Directors and an independent director of a number of companies in both New Zealand and Australia  He was the founding chair of the Ngai Tahu Holdings Corporation,  Sealord Group Ltd  and Te Tapuae o Rehua Ltd.  He is a former Deputy Chairman of Transit New Zealand, and former Director of Meridan Energy Ltd and Television New Zealand Ltd. He is currently Chairman of Clifford Bay Marine Farms and Australian Bight Abalone Ltd (Aust) and a director of Whale Watch Kaikoura Ltd and Clean Seas Tuna Ltd (Aust). He also holds a number of advisory and consultancy positions. He was created a Knight Bachelor in 1994.

I think you’ll agree that alone either of these speakers would be formidable, knowledgeable and enlightening.  The chance to hear and see them both together is something that I will really be looking forward to.