Presenters


He Hononga: Connecting Within and Across

This year’s MENZA conference has an overarching theme of hauora where the potential of music education to support wellbeing and health will be shared and collaboratively explored.  Over the three days there will be opportunities to learn about how we can connect within ourselves through music to support wellbeing and with each other across our different sectors, subject disciplines (considering music as a means to connect across curriculum), and across Māori and Pākeha perspectives on music education.  This year the central day of the conference, Puawaiata, will be a tangata whenua led day where indigenous music pedagogy will be centralised and explored in a generative, biculturally collaborative, space. 

Dr. Anita Collins

Dr. Anita Collins

Dr Anita Collins is the founder of Bigger Better Brains and an advocate for understanding how music learning can benefit every child’s development.  Anita is an award-winning educator, researcher and writer in the field of brain development and music learning. She is internationally recognised for her unique work in translating the scientific research of neuroscientists and psychologists to the everyday parent, teacher and student.  

Since 2016, Anita has travelled around the world to interview over 100 neuroscientists and psychologists about music learning and brain development, known as neuromusical research. Anita now uses the research to present, consult and advocate for an updated understanding of how music learning can benefit every child’s development.

Anita’s work first came to prominence when she wrote the script for the highly successful TEDEd video, How playing an instrument benefits your brain, followed by her TEDx Talk, What if every child had music education from birth? Anita is best known to Australian’s for her role as an on-screen expert and campaign lead for the Don’t Stop the Music documentary that aired on ABC Australia in late 2018.

Website: Better Bigger Brains

Katrina Daniela

Katrina Daniela

Katrina is the Curriculum Leader of Music at Papamoa College.  She has worked in both Area and Secondary schools.

Katrina is a member of the PPTA Middle Leaders Advisory and is currently exploring the workload of Secondary Music Teachers and writing a conference paper on this issue.

She is a current MENZA board member.

Martin Emo

Martin Emo

Martin Emo is a full-time PHD student at Te Herenga Waka/Victoria University of Wellington. A high school teacher of 12 years, Martin holds a number of positions for NZQA, the Ministry of Education, is a board member Australia New Zealand Association for Research in Music Education (ANZARME) and just finished 6 years on the MENZA board. He provides education consultancy to Ableton, Melodics and Midnight Music. In his spare time he grows giant agave flowers, blogs and spins records which you can find for free via www.martinthomasemo.com.

Priya Gain

Priya Gain

Priya is currently a doctoral candidate at Te Puna Wananga, Auckland University, with a research focus on settler-indigenous relationships within arts-based education.  Priya also currently works as a teaching fellow at the NZ School of Music teaching pedagogy.  She has previously worked as a primary school Orff music specialist (Kete Aronui Orff) and pre-service music educator at Victoria University’s School of Education.  Priya currently holds a position on the MENZA board and is part of the establishment committee of Whirimanga (the new national arts alliance).  She is also actively involved with ONZA (Orff NZ Aotearoa) as a workshop facilitator and educator for their certified levels courses.  Over the last year, she has enjoyed working on a number of bicultural projects as part of the Poutokomanawa collective, including establishing the  Puawaiata space for MENZA, and creating bicultural music and movement resources for schools and initial teacher education.  She is also currently facilitating the MENZA Ann Milne study scholarship initiative: Tahia te Ara: Decolonising Practice.

Mary Gentle

Mary Gentle

Mary Was the head of music at Te Puke High school for 30 years. Previous to that she taught at Dargaville High School and Pahiatua College. During that time, she wrote lots of resources tailor-made to the needs of the students she was teaching. One of the areas that have interested her was trying to find relevant and more interesting ways to teach students music notation skills. (how to read music) The main philosophy to her teaching was an integrated approach that involved listening, composing, playing and using music technology to learn the skills needed.

She officially retired nearly three years ago but has continued to be involved with the teaching.  She has loved teaching music (most of the time) and has gained a real sense of satisfaction seeing students achieve, especially those who have never had the opportunity to learn music. This year she is doing some day relief, itinerant work and some accompanying work. As well, with the extra time, she has started to seriously write resources.

Leon Gray

Leon Gray

Born and raised in Taranaki, Leon enjoyed piano and theory lessons from a young age, going onto getting the highest mark in University Entrance music in New Zealand. He moved onto composition studies at the University of Auckland, completing a Bachelor of Music degree, then completing a Diploma in Teaching (Primary). During his time in Auckland, he built a profile as a skilled accompanist and musical director. At this time, he also completed postgraduate studies in Business and Administration (PGDipBus Admin) and Education Research (PGDipEd).

He has worked as a Head of Primary Music and Drama and as a music specialist.  Leon has also worked as a journalist and a resource developer.  In 2011 he completed a BMus (Hons) dissertation focussed on adapting literacy teaching practices to classroom music teaching.

He moved to full-time studio teaching in 2013, which allowed him time and freedom to explore game and memory-based ideas around music theory teaching. In 2015, he developed some of these ideas into a holiday programme called Staveblasters, which he later adapted and trialled for teaching in classrooms. All of which helped him complete his Master of Education (First Class Honours) degree; the findings of which informed the development of the ATOM programme and its illustrated resources. He went onto complete his Master of Music (First Class Honours) degree, and now operates a highly successful studio in Tauranga. He continues to work as a musical director, composer and accompanist in and around the Bay of Plenty.

Jeremy Hantler

Jeremy Hantler

With a strong musical upbringing and a Jazz performance degree, Jeremy Hantler began his teaching pathway by sharing his love of Taonga Pūoro and waiata māori with primary school Kapahaka groups. Armed with a Grad. Dip. and ONZA levels 1-4, He has taught in over 20 schools and run a CRT music programme in 3.

He has attended music education workshops in Austria, Italy, Sweden, and Estonia, as well as learning and presenting at workshops and wananga locally. Jeremy is passionate about equipping young people with the tools, awareness and inclination to express themselves musically.

Annie Hill

Annie Hill

Annie is the Funding and Project Advisor for Creative Bay of Plenty. Annie’s background is in communications, facilitation and management support, where she has worked in roles in the business, not-for-profit, local government and tertiary sectors in New Zealand and overseas.  

Annie has also previously worked for Tauranga City Council and the University of Waikato, as well as for a number of companies in the private sector.

Rawiri Hindle

Rawiri Hindle

Rawiri Hindle currently works in a kura Māori in the Wellington region, teaching performing arts as well as running a ‘Creatives in Schools’ (on cultural responsiveness through ngā toi Māori) project in an English-medium school.  Rawiri has held the role of national co-ordinator for the NZ Māori-medium arts curriculum ngā toi Māori.  More recent projects include evaluation of Te Kotahitanga (a Māori student secondary school achievement project), evaluation of the He Kākano project, and one of 23 invited delegates to the UNESCO panel Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, meeting in China.  Rawiri Hindle’s research, practice and knowledge platforms explore the role that Māori arts education plays in deepening understandings of the intangible components of embodied knowing as it manifests as ‘being.’ His research is situated in Māori and indigenous perspectives that regards knowledge as a holistic mind, body, and soul phenomena.

Horomona Horo

Horomona Horo

Performs and handles the full spectrum of the taonga puoro instruments with a measured skill, historical and cultural understanding as passed down to him by his mentors, first the late Dr Hirini Melbourne and since 2006, Dr Richard Nunns – two of the men credited with the revival of the art-form. His ability to perform solo as well as collaborate so broadly through and extensive musical knowledge of style and process, has led to Horo performing and presenting as a New Zealand representative in Europe, Australia, Asia and South America and becoming the international Maori face of Taonga Puoro.

Website: Horomona Horo

Wendy Hunt

Wendy Hunt

FIRMT M.ED DIP TCHG. LTCL TEFL Certificate, Certificate CBT

Wendy has taught from pre-school to tertiary and now operates a large private music studio. She delivers Teacher Training Courses for the IRMTNZ and Teaching Council of New Zealand, and actively performs in Musical Theatre and Jazz.

Benjamin Lau

Benjamin Lau

Ben Lau is the Head of Music at Newlands College, Wellington and a current MENZA Board Member. He believes in an inclusive classroom where students are engaged, being at the centre of their learning and ultimately having fun. He has been a classroom teacher for 15 years and been teaching violin privately for over 20 years. 

Recently he has been developing his skills in creating Taonga Puoro and teaching them to his ākonga with success at Year 9, Year 10 and Year 11.  He is also continuing his journey in learning about Te ao Māori and Te reo Maori and how to have an inclusive classroom with Te Tiriti o Waitangi being at the forefront of his planning and classroom practices. 

Jenni Little

Jenni Little

Jeni is a Music Specialist & Learning Area Leader Performing Arts – Hobsonville Point Secondary School.

I’ve been in the music classroom for 34 years and am the current Chair of MENZA. I’m also on the board of the NZMC, and one of the NCEA music SEG (Subject Expert Groups).

I direct, perform and compose music, and I am also a compulsive-obsessive textile maker.

Eugene Marshall

Eugene Marshall

Eugene trained in composition at the Royal College of Music London, after which he returned to his hometown of Perth where he taught high school music. 

He moved to New Zealand in 2020 and currently teaches at Auckland Normal Intermediate, focusing on developing strategies for teaching composition to intermediate-age students.

Warren Maxwell

Warren Maxwell

Warren Maxwell is a senior lecturer in the new Bachelor of Commercial Music degree offered at Massey University. Warren has made a significant contribution to music both in New Zealand and internationally as a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and a driving force behind many musical projects.

Born in Auckland of Tuhoe, Kahungunu, Ngai Te Rangi, and of Scottish ancestry, Warren started playing guitar aged 6 years and started joining and forming bands from intermediate school. After studying Jazz at the School of Music at Massey University, he formed a dub reggae trio ‘Trinity Roots’ with some of his co-alumni and joined soul/funk band ‘Fat Freddy’s Drop’: two of New Zealand’s best-loved bands. Warren continues to perform with Trinity Roots on lead vocals and guitar (following a hiatus from 2005- 2011), and he is the leader of the psychedelic blues quartet Little Bushman. Both bands tour extensively nationally and internationally to great acclaim.

In his illustrious music career he has a number of Platinum albums to his name; was the winner of the Best Musician at the bNet Music Awards; nominated for a Silver Scroll Award; been involved with theatre sound design and scoring for numerous short films and for various other musical projects; with ‘Little Bushmen’ he has collaborated with both the APO and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in concert, and he was one of five inaugural recipients of an Arts Foundation New Generation Award in 2006.

Dr. Jeremy Mayall

Dr. Jeremy Mayall

Dr. Jeremy Mayall is a composer, performer, artist, and researcher from Hamilton, NZ.  His work is primarily in music, sound art, installation and multimedia formats, with a focus on exploring his fascination in the interrelationships between sound, time, space, the senses, and the human experience.  Collaboration is at the core of much of his multi-sensory work, and projects have included work with musicians, dancers, poets, aerial silks performers, theatre practitioners, scientists, perfumers, bakers, authors, sculptors, filmmakers, pyrotechnicians, lighting designers and visual artists. 

He is also the CEO of Creative Waikato In this role, he is leading the Creative Waikato team as they support artists and arts organisations to make sure the Waikato thrives with prospers with diverse and transformative creative activity. Outside of this role, he is a composer, performer, producer and artist, as well as being a researcher and sometimes postgraduate supervisor in the School of Media Arts.

Fionn Murphy

Fionn Murphy

Fionn Murphy is in his seventh year of teaching. He has been in his current music role at Pakuranga College for just over a year. He has previously taught at Ōtamatea High School in Northland and Golden Bay High School in the Tasman region. 

His areas of interest when it comes to music teaching are performing and composition and empowering all ākonga to have the confidence to engage with music in these areas.

Chris O'Connor

Chris O'Connor

Chris has played drums in bands since his teenage years and has made a living as a professional musician performing, recording, composing and teaching in a dizzying array of settings. He studied Jazz at the Wellington Conservatorium of Music (Adv. Dip. Jazz 1993-1996), and Ethnomusicology at VUW (Dip. Arts 2000). Chris has had music therapy in his sights since first encountering it while living in the UK in 2003, and is currently studying towards his Masters of Music Therapy at VUW.

Collaborating with people in music has always been Chris’ passion, and this has led him to work in a diverse range of musical contexts.  An experienced touring musician, he has travelled the country and the globe.  As a recording artist, Chris appears on over 50 albums, as well as documentary and film soundtracks. As a composer, Chris has collaborated with filmmakers, choreographers and theatre directors.

Chris is a passionate educator, maintaining a private practice as well as having held artist-tutor positions at Auckland University, Unitec, Massey University, and Victoria University of Wellington. Chris lives in Auckland with his partner and two children and is relishing the new horizons of music therapy and the work at RMTC is opening up for his musical practice.

Te Kahu Rolleston

Te Kahu Rolleston

Te Kahu Rolleston is a spoken word poet, mental health worker and educator from the tribe of Ngaiterangi in Tauranga. He has been called ‘The Taniwha of Poetry’. His work often honours his ancestors, the land, and the ongoing Māori struggles for Tino Rangatiratanga. His poetry speaks to what it means to be Māori, combining mythology, history and modern politics. Te Kahu was the 2014 winner of The National Slam Poetry Competition. 

In 2015 Te Kahu was invited to attend The Banff Centre’s Indigenous Writing Programme alongside Witi Ihimaera. He won the world pacific poetry slam at Festpac 2016. Te Kahu is extremely passionate about the power of words, and the actions they can trigger

Ruby Solly

Ruby Solly

Kai Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, Waitaha.  Ruby Solly is a Kai Tahu musician, taonga puoro practitioner, music therapist and writer living in Wellington. She has played with artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Whirimako Black, Trinity Roots, and The New Zealand String Quartet as both a cellist and a player of traditional Māori instruments (ngā taonga puoro). She has also worked as a session musician and recording artist.  In 2019 she completed a Masters thesis in the therapeutic potential of taonga puoro in mental health based music therapy while working in schools, hospitals, prisons and with private clients from iwi around the motu. She also has experience as a composer with pieces commissioned by the New Zealand School of Music in association with SOUNZ, as well as in film work in association with Someday Stories, and the Goethe Institute with Wellington Film Society.

Ruby is also a published poet and has been published in journals associated with many of New Zealand’s universities.

Andrew Stopps

Andrew Stopps

Andrew Stopps has taught for over 25 years in Australia, UK and New Zealand. His teaching experience ranges from a woodwind instrumental teacher and band director in rural South Australia to Head of Music at the Australian International Performing Arts High School in Sydney. In 2009 he moved to New Zealand and in 2012 he was a finalist for the NEITA Excellence in Teaching Award. He currently Director of The Teaching Practice, an organisation creating resources and one on one support for teachers (like the old music advisors).

He is the founder of the Wellington City Concert Band, NZ Youth Symphonic Winds and the Wellington Band and Orchestra Festival and the GleeNZ Showchoir. He is also the founder and President of the Association of Band and Orchestra Director Aotearoa (NZ) and of the Hoa Project that provides support and mentoring to music teachers around New Zealand. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Adelaide University and undertook Postgraduate studies in Conducting and Musical Direction at WAAPA in Perth. He is currently undertaking Post Graduate studies in Educational Psychology.

Kawiti Waetford

Kawiti Waetford

Raised on the beautiful Tutukaka Coast of Northland New Zealand, Kawiti is now a multi-talented opera singer, performer and public speaker. As an alumnus of Otago University, Kawiti was mentored by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and has performed with her nationally and internationally.

In NZ, Kawiti has sung in concert with the NZ Symphony Orchestra, the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and has been honoured to perform with artists such as Dame Kiri, Frederica von Stade, Simon O’Neill and Teddy Tahu Rhodes.

Kawiti graduated with a Masters degree in Advanced Vocal Studies from the Wales International Academy of Voice, under acclaimed Welsh tenor, Dennis O’Neill, and studied with renowned American vocal pedagogue, Sherman Lowe, in Venice, Italy. He has an extensive background in New Zealand Maori Performing Arts and as an actor appeared at The Globe Theatre, London, in Shakespeare’s “As You Like It”.

Kawiti performed for Their Royal Highnesses Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Henry of Wales and attended Buckingham Palace to meet Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip.

In 2011 he attended the Solti Te Kanawa Accademia di bel canto where he worked with both Dame Kiri and Sir Thomas Allen. In 2015 he performed the role of the Archangel Michael in Murray Schaffer’s Apocalypsis, directed by Lemi Ponifasio as part of the Luminato Festival in Toronto.

Kawiti was a finalist in the New Zealand Lexus Song Quest in 2012 and was awarded the inaugural Dame Kiri Te Kanawa Scholarship, and was the beneficiary of the prestigious Ngarimu VC & Maori Battalion Scholarship.

Makaira Waugh

Makaira Waugh

Makaira Waugh (Te Ātiawa) is a Māori arts specialist kaiako, artist and poet whose passion is empowering students’ creativity and hauora through the arts, especially music. Along with teaching in Kura Kaupapa Māori and Kōhanga Reo, this dedication has led him to build musical instruments for kura (Te Ara Whānui Sound Garden), run free wānanga for kaiako around the motu, and support them through networking hui and mentoring programmes. He led the first Māori immersion classes within Orff levels training courses in 2018, and in January 2020 spent his first overseas trip teaching music and movement as language revitalisation tools in far-flung indigenous communities in México. Since lockdown, he has worked as part of Poutokomanawa collective to develop bicultural arts resources for schools and initial teacher education, and establish the Puawaiata space for MENZA.

Makaira is a tangata whenua representative on the board of MENZA, and is keen to support other Māori to share their own gifts through arts education. While music is often the vehicle for his work, the real aim is for tamariki and pāhake to connect with wairua and explore their own creativity and expression through the arts and beyond, learning to manage this sustainably to follow their dreams and create their own futures.

Mouri tū mouri ora, mouri puāwai ki te ao!

Oli Wilson

Oli Wilson

Oli Wilson is an Associate Professor at the School of Music and Creative Media Production at Massey University.  He undertakes research on the music industry, as well as in recording and production, ethnomusicology and popular music studies. He is a co-primary investigator in the Amplify Aotearoa research project, which examines fairness and equality in the music industry.  Another main area of research concerns the impact new digital and communication technologies have on music culture in indigenous communities. 

He has undertaken extensive research on the recording industry in Papua New Guinea and has published on New Zealand and Australian popular music. He is the current co-editor of the journal Perfect Beat: The Asia Pacific Journal of Contemporary Music and Popular Culture. He also plays keyboards in the iconic New Zealand band The Chills, and regularly performs in New Zealand and overseas.