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Forest & Bird's national conference was held on 29 July 2023 at Te Papa Tongarewa, Pōneke Wellington.

The theme was Inspiring Bold Leadership in a Time of Crisis and our MC for the day was Jesse Mulligan. 

Please find the videos of our speakers and panel discussions below.

Welcome: Mark Hanger | President, Forest & Bird

SESSION 1: STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS – Past, present & future: why the environment matters now more than ever
Nicola Toki | Chief Executive, Forest & Bird
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Nicola Toki's State of the Nation address is available to read on our website.

    SESSION 2: THE IMPORTANCE OF COURAGE AND LEADERSHIP IN GIVING NATURE A VOICE – Why bold leadership needs boring foundations
    Rt Hon. Simon Upton | Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment
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    SESSION 3: THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX – is Aotearoa’s approach to environmental stewardship failing and what should the future of conservation look like?
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    Chaired by Jesse Mulligan. Our panel members were:

    • Dr Amanda Black | Co-director at Bio-Protection Aotearoa Research Centre & Associate Professor at Lincoln University
    • Mananui Ramsden | Chairperson of Te Rūnaka o Koukourata, Banks Peninsula
    • Danielle Shanahan | Chief Executive, Zealandia Ecosanctuary Te Māra a Tāne, Pōneke Wellington
    • Dr Deidre Koolen-Bourke | Senior Policy Researcher, Environmental Defence Society

    SESSION 4: COURAGEOUS LEADERSHIP IN THE TIME OF THE CLIMATE & BIODIVERSITY CRISES - what are business and sector leaders doing to address the climate and biodiversity crises when we know time isn’t on our side?
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    Chaired by Jesse Mulligan. Our panel members were:

    • Terry Copeland | Chief Executive, Federated Farmers
    • Kiri Hannifin | Chief Sustainability Officer, Air New Zealand
    • Rehette Stoltz | Gisborne Mayor & Regional Sector Representative Local Government NZ (LGNZ)
    • Caroline Saunders | Distinguished Professor and Director of the Agribusiness & Economics Research Unit, Lincoln University

    SESSION 5: CRISIS COMMUNICATION & CONFRONTING CLIMATE APATHY – what will it take for political leaders and the wider public to act on environmental issues?
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    Chaired by Jesse Mulligan. Our panel members were:

    • Eloise Gibson | Climate change editor, Stuff NZ
    • Dale Husband (Ngāti Maru) | Presenter, Waatea News
    • Marc Daalder | Senior political reporter, Newsroom
    • Isobel Ewing | Climate correspondent, Discovery

    SESSION 6: RANGATAHI ARE THE FUTURE – so why aren’t we listening to them?
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    Chaired by George Hobson. Our panel members were:

    • Eden Skipper (Ngāi Tahu) | Indigenous rights advocate and forager
    • Isla Day | Founding member & organiser, School Strike 4 Climate Aotearoa
    • Madison Seymour| Future Farmers NZ

    Presentation of the Kōtuku Award | Te Tohu Kōtuku to Raukūmara Pae Maunga
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    More information about all of our 2023 Forest & Bird awards is available here.

    SESSION 7: SHIFTING OUR MINDSET – caring for the environment to build a stronger, better country
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    Talk 1 | The possibilities for a tino rangatiratanga sphere in conservation legislation and policy
    Professor Jacinta Ruru MNZM FRSNZ | Māori Law Professor and legal scholar
    Talk 2 | Forest & Bird whakapapa, ongoing mahi, and courageous conservation: looking to the future
    Nicola Toki, Chief Executive, Forest & Bird


    Dame Anne Salmond delivering the Sanderson Lecture July 2023. Image Mark Coote

    Dame Anne Salmond delivering the Sanderson Lecture July 2023. Image Mark Coote

    Speech: Dame Anne Salmond | Historian, author & environmentalist 
    Our beautiful islands

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