Read brief profiles about the speakers and session chairs (in speaking order) at the Social Security Summit 2016: Investing in children.

  1. » Speakers
  2. » Panel


Hirini Kaa

Dr Hirini Kaa (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu, Rongowhakaata), lectures in history and theology at the School of Humanities at the University of Auckland. Hirini has experience in working with whanau violence and understands that the drivers of whanau violence are multi-layered and complex, and that addressing poverty (in all its forms) plays an important part in transforming whanau. Hirini also has extensive experience in community development and working with whanau in need.

Alan Johnson

Alan Johnson is a social policy analyst for The Salvation Army's Social Policy & Parliamentary Unit.  He is author of  A Mountain All Can Climb which is The Salvation Army's 2015 State of the Nation report. In his spare time he is a community activist in South Auckland, an administrator in local sports clubs and a school trustee. He is also a trustee of the Auckland Community Housing Trust and an executive member CPAG. Alan has an academic background in town planning and economics and has been involved in Auckland local government for over 15 years both as politician and bureaucrat. He wrote the housing chapter in CPAG's Our children, our choice: priorities for policy, 2014.

Shamubeel Eaqub

Shamubeel Eaqub (pronounced Yakub) holds a BCOM with Honours in Economics from Lincoln University. He is an experienced economist who makes economics easy. He is also an author, media commentator and a thought leading public speaker, with over a decade of experience as an economist in Wellington, Melbourne and Auckland in leading international banks and consultancy. He writes books in his own time on issues that matter to New Zealand and gives voice to the unheard. He serves on various boards of charities and commercial firms, and apart from those duties Shamubeel is currently on career break to be a full time dad. He grew up in Canterbury and now lives in Auckland with his wife and son.

Prue Kapua

Prue Kapua, Ngati Whakaue/Te Arawa, Ngati Kahungunu. Born in Rotorua, after graduating from Auckland University in 1982 BA/LLB, Prue worked with the Race Relations Office, then with Geoffrey Palmer (Minister of Justice, Minister for the Environment, Deputy Prime Minister) as a legal advisor. Entering mainstream law practice, she focussed on Maori and Treaty issues, and served in many government-appointed roles. She is currently a member of the National Kaitiaki Group and Chairs the Compliance Panel of the WHO Code for Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes in NZ. She was elected President of Te Ropu Wahine Maori Toko i te Ora (Maori Women’s Welfare League) in 2014. In that role she is a trustee of Maori Education and Maori Women’s Development Inc and a member of Te Putahi Paoho.

Efeso Collins

Fa'anana Efeso Collins is a community enabler and leader of Samoan and Tokelauan heritage. Born and raised in Otara he was the first child in his family to attend university and is currently serving as the Chair of the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board. He is passionate about youth issues and Pasifika participation in NZ society and has published research on youth gangs in south Auckland. He is married with a young daughter and lives in Otahuhu. Efeso is a candidate in the upcoming local body elections to the governing body of Auckland Council for the Manukau ward.

Gerry Cotterell

Gerry Cotterell joined CPAG late in 2013 and currently chairs its research committee.  He lives in South Auckland. Based at the University of Auckland, Gerry is primarily engaged in research management and social and public policy research. Gerry has an academic background in economics, sociology and social policy. His PhD compared welfare reforms in New Zealand and the United Kingdom in the period leading up to and including the early 2000s.  His current academic interests include welfare reform and comparative social policy.

Susan Morton

Associate Professor Susan Morton is the Director of the Centre for Longitudinal Research at the University of Auckland. This cross-faculty centre is the home of the contemporary longitudinal study – Growing Up in New Zealand, which she has been the Principal Investigator of since its inception in 2005. Susan is a Public Health Physician, an expert in life course epidemiology, translational research and econometric modeling of life course outcomes.

George Makapatama

George Makapatama is a proud New Zealander of Niuean descent. He migrated to New Zealand in the 1980s with his grandparents and sisters in search of education and new opportunities. He currently works in local government and previously worked for the Ministry of Education and Child Youth and Family. His experience as a frontline social worker in South Auckland opened his eyes to the full impact of child poverty, and fuelled his determination and belief that systemic change has to occur, through child focused and family centred policies. As a concerned husband and father of two, George is passionately committed to CPAG and its crusade to end child poverty.

Darrin Hodgetts

Darrin Hodgetts (PhD) is Professor of Societal Psychology at Massey University where he co-convenes the Ending Poverty and Inequality Research Cluster (EPIC). Prior to this appointment, Darrin held posts in Community Health at Memorial University in Canada, in Psychology, Media and Communications at the London School of Economics, and in Community Psychology at the University of Waikato. His research spans urban poverty, health inequalities, and everyday life. He is the author of over 100 scholarly articles and books on these topics.

Dr Ottilie Stolte

Dr Ottilie Stolte (PhD) is Senior Lecturer at the University of Waikato where she teaches social and community health psychology. She has pursued research on homelessness, inequalities and poverty. As an interdisciplinary social scientist, Ottilie seeks to understand psychological issues within the broader social, cultural and political contexts of people's everyday lives.

Bill Rosenberg

Bill Rosenberg was appointed Economist and Director of Policy at the CTU in May 2009. He holds a B.Com in Economics, a BSc in Mathematics and a PhD in Mathematical Psychology. Bill was previously Deputy Director, University Centre for Teaching and Learning at the University of Canterbury, and has been a Commissioner on TEC, a member of the Regional Land Transport Committee of Environment Canterbury and National President of the Association of University Staff. He is widely published on labour, economic and globalisation issues, including an article in Policy Quarterly, “The 'Investment Approach' is Not an Investment Approach.”

Mike O’Brien

Mike O’Brien is an Associate Professor in the School of Counselling, Human Services and Social Work at the University of Auckland. He is a member of the CPAG Management Committee and contributed to the two recent CPAG reports on children. He has written extensively on child poverty, social security and social services.

Susan St John

Susan St John, QSO, CPAG founding member and economics spokesperson is an Honorary Associate Professor in the Economics Department, University of Auckland and director of the Retirement Policy and Research Centre. Susan is co-editor of CPAG's latest flagship publication Our children, our choice: priorities for policy (2014) and co-editor of earlier reports Left Further Behind: How policies fail the poorest children in New Zealand (2011) and Left Behind: How social and income inequalities damage New Zealand children (2008). She is co-author of CPAG’s Cut Price Kids: Does the 2004 Working for Families' Budget work for children? (2004) and Our Children: The Priority for Policy (2001, 2003). She was co-editor with Dalziel & Boston of Redesigning the Welfare State in New Zealand: Problems, Policies Prospects (1999) OUP. Recent articles are: Reflections on the Child Hardship Bill, Policy Quarterly, 2015; Children at the Centre: Making policy as if children mattered, Edu. Philosophy & Theory, 2014.


Fiu Anae Uesile Wesley Tala’imanu

Fiu Anae Uesile Wesley Tala’imanu. Talofa. I’m married with 2 boys and a member of the Samoan Methodist NZ Sinoti. Over the past 20 years I have worked for the New Zealand Police, Ministry of Social Development and Non- Profit Organisations such as Anglican Trust for Women and Children. My current role is Director for Fonua Ola Network, a social services provider based in Auckland, predominantly supporting the local Pacific community to cope in times of economic, social and cultural adversity. With a head office in Otahuhu, network members are based in Mount Albert, Henderson, Otara, and Glen Innes. Services include social work, counselling, youth support, parenting programmes, whanau ora and budgeting.