PHA NZ Conference 2012
A number of high-profile speakers have already been confirmed, including:
  • Sir Michael Marmot, Chair of the World Health Organization’s Commission on Social Determinants of Health.  Please note: unfortunately Sir Michael Marmot is unable to attend the conference in person, but will be presenting via a pre-recorded video.

  • Russell Wills, New Zealand Children’s Commissioner

  • Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada

  • Cindy Kiro, Head of the School of Public Health at Massey University

  • Anne Smith, Professor Emeritus at the University of Otago

  • Judge Peter Boshier, Principal Family Court Judge of the New Zealand Family Court

  • Alison Taylor, Consultant, Philanthropy New Zealand

  • Veronica Ng Lam, Chairperson of Save the Children New Zealand’s Child & Youth Council (CYC)
More information about these and other speakers will be posted here shortly.

Hon Dr Tuitama Leao Talalelei Tuitama, Minister of Health, Samoa

Hon Dr Tuitama is the Minister of Health for Samoa and is a Medical Physician by Profession.

He was the Head of Medical Unit of the Samoa National Referral Hospital in Apia during the 1990s and practiced as a Private Medical Practitioner before endeavouring on a political career.

Hon Dr Tuitama has represented Samoa on numerous regional and international meetings over the last decade.

Hon Dr Tuitama has advocated against the importation of junk food with little nutrition value and has been a very vocal supporter on advocating the risks to health of alcohol abuse and tobacco use. Hon Dr Tuitama has also spoken at many national, regional and international forums on the dangers to health associated with obesity and lack of physical activity, both in his work as a physician and through his official duties as Associate Minister for Health 2006-2010 and as Minister for Health for Samoa since 2011. 

More recently Hon Dr Tuitama represented Samoa at the first Global Ministerial Conference on Healthy Lifestyles and Non-Communicable Disease Control, organised by the World Health Organization and the Russian Federation in April 2011.

He also represented Samoa at the High-Level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases  in New York (2011) and addressed the UN Assembly on the devastating impact of NCDs in Samoa and the importance of putting the Social Determinants of Health firmly at the centre of all trade and economic policies.

At the recent Pacific Ministers of Health Meeting held in Honiara, Solomon Islands, Hon Dr Tuitama addressed the meeting on the need to strengthen Health Promotion and Primary Health Care programmes to address the NCD epidemic affecting Samoa and other Pacific Island Countries.

Sir Michael Marmot
Professor Sir Michael G. Marmot MBBS, MPH, PhD, FRCP, FFPHM, FMedSci, FBA
  • Director, UCL Institute of Health Equity (Marmot Institute)
  • Chair, European Review on the Social Determinants of Health and the Health Divide
  • Director: International Institute for Society and Health
  • MRC Research Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London
Sir Michael Marmot has led a research group on health inequalities for 35 years.  He is Principal Investigator of the Whitehall II Studies of British Civil Servants, investigating explanations for the striking inverse social gradient in morbidity and mortality. He leads the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) and is engaged in several international research efforts on the social determinants of health.  He was a member of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution for six years, and served as President of the British Medical Association (BMA) in 2010-2011.  He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, an Honorary Fellow of the British Academy, and an Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health of the Royal College of Physicians.
In 2000 he was knighted by Her Majesty The Queen, for services to Epidemiology and the understanding of health inequalities.  Internationally acclaimed, Professor Marmot is a Foreign Associate Member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), and a former Vice President of the Academia Europaea.  He won the Balzan Prize for Epidemiology in 2004, gave the Harveian Oration in 2006, and won the William B. Graham Prize for Health Services Research in 2008.  He was Chair of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health (CSDH), which was set up by the World Health Organization in 2005, and produced the report entitled: ‘Closing the Gap in a Generation’ in August 2008.
At the request of the British Government, he conducted Strategic Review of Health Inequalities in England post 2010, which published its report 'Fair Society, Healthy Lives' in February 2010. He has now been invited by the Regional Director of WHO Euro to conduct the European Review of Social Determinants of Health and the Health Divide, which will report in September 2012.  He has agreed to chair the Breast Screening Review for the NHS National Cancer Action Team. He is a member of The Lancet-University of Oslo Commission on Global Governance for Health.

Russell Wills
Russell Wills is a community and general paediatrician at Hawke’s Bay District Health Board in Hastings and was appointed as Children’s Commissioner on 1st July 2011.

He trained in medicine in Otago and did his paediatric training in Hampshire and Australia including community paediatric training and a Master of Public Health degree in Brisbane.

Russell was National Paediatrician for Plunket, a senior lecturer at the Wellington School of Medicine and a Community Paediatrician at Wellington Hospital from 1999-2001. He has been a general and community paediatrician at Hawke’s Bay Hospital in Hastings since August 2001, recently as Head of Department and Clinical Director until taking up the current appointment.

Russell has led a number of programmes in family violence intervention and intersectoral community interventions for children and young people. He has held leadership roles in community paediatrics with the Paediatric Society of New Zealand and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, and has contributed to publications, national guidelines and projects on autism, family violence, child abuse and medical aspects of children in Child, Youth and Family care

He lives in Hawke’s Bay and  is married with two adolescent sons.
Cindy Blackstock, PhD
Executive Director, First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada and Associate Professor, University of Alberta.

A member of the Gitksan Nation, she has worked in the field of child and family services for over 20 years. An author of over 50 publications, her key interests include exploring, and addressing, the causes of disadvantage for Aboriginal children and families by promoting equitable and culturally based interventions.

Current professional interests include holding fellowships with the Ashoka Foundation, J.W. McConnell Family Foundation and the Trudeau Foundation. 

Cindy Kiro
Associate Professor Cynthia (Cindy) Kiro is of Māori descent and the Head of the School of Public Health at Massey University, New Zealand.
Cindy returned to Massey University following her term as the fourth and first female Children’s Commissioner between 2003-2009, where she was the statutory advocate for children and young people. She has worked for over 20 years in a wide range of community organisations promoting Māori wellbeing and the wellbeing of children and young people.
Cindy has a PhD in Policy and works in the areas of children’s health and wellbeing, indigenous health, health systems and health policy.
Anne Smith
Anne Smith is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Otago, Dunedin. New Zealand. She was Director of the Children’s Issues Centre between 1995 until 2006. The Centre carried out research on children’s well-being and rights in such areas as family law, early childhood education, and the prevention of child abuse. Anne has published many research articles, and written several books including Understanding Children’s Development; and (with colleagues) Children’s Voices, Learning in the Making and Global Pathways to Abolishing Physical Punishment. Anne is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, a former chair of the Marsden Social Science panel and recipient of the New Zealand Association for Research in Education McKenzie award for innovative research. In 2009 she received a US award for her “research and advocacy to ensure that the voices of children are heard”.

Judge Peter Boshier
Judge Peter Boshier was appointed as the Principal Family Court Judge of the New Zealand Family Court in March 2004, after serving on the District Court Bench since 1988. Judge Boshier has worked extensively in the management of the Family Court and judicial system. In 1993, he completed a review of the Family Court, which resulted in a number of changes to Court processes. Judge Boshier has a particular interest in Pacific youth justice and child offenders. In 1999, he wrote the Child Offenders Manual, which gives practical guidance to intervention with child offenders. In 2002 he was seconded by the New Zealand Government to join the Pacific Judicial Education Programme based in Suva, and while there completed a Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching.   
In April 2009 he was made a distinguished alumnus by the Victoria University of Wellington, for outstanding contribution to the law.

Alison Taylor
Alison Taylor is a consultant in the not for profit and philanthropic sectors with a passion for capacity building and effective grant-making. Alison began her career in the UK where she moved from research and local government public health, to lead a health promotion service within the NHS before a Winston Churchill Fellowship brought her to Aotearoa New Zealand. Alison joined the northern regional health authority for a year before stepping into the CEO role at the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, growing and developing mental health promotion and advocacy services over 7 years. Departing the Foundation Alison and her family moved to Wellington so she could take up her new position at the Ministry of Youth Development, leading the Ministry through significant growth and development over the next two years.

Leaving Wellington to head to find a better balance of family and career Alison moved into consultancy, building on her 25 year career in public health, mental health and youth development, to create a new business focused on capacity building in the not for profit sector and taking on board roles with the Vodafone Foundation NZ and subsequently Philanthropy New Zealand. Alison remains passionate about public health approaches to health and social outcomes and the importance of effective leadership in the not for profit sector.

Alison lives in Warkworth with her partner and two children.

Veronica Tea-Monica Ng Lam
Veronica is the inaugural leader and chairperson of Save the Children New Zealand’s Child & Youth Council (CYC), launched in November 2011. She is past-president of the AUT student association and is currently undertaking post-graduate studies. She is the first female and first Pasifika president to be elected by the student body at AUT and is the first in her family to graduate in tertiary education. She sits on various boards, committees, councils and forums across the education sector, including AUT Council’s Pacific Education Working Group. She is passionate about child rights, governance and empowering children and young people to speak up on matters that affect them.  
Veronica leads the CYC. It currently has representatives in seven regions with plans to expand nationally. Under her leadership, the CYC has contributed to two submissions including the Green Paper for Vulnerable Children. Veronica recently visited Save the Children programmes in India and Bangladesh. She came back even more motivated to promote an environment that enables and respects the contributions of New Zealand’s youngest citizens.


Whetu Campbell currently works as a public health advisor on the Community Action Youth And Drug (CAYAD) project at Regional Public Health, Wellington

An experienced presenter and facilitator, with a background in health and personal development, Whetu has worked in the Youth Development Sector for 13 years, specialising in generative learning techniques. He has extensive experience working with small groups and large audiences, and has a passion to see people succeed.