Jade Te Uri Karaka- At the age of 18 Jade made the move to live in Colombia, South America- where she developed a love and passion for people, cultures, social justice and community transformation. Coming back to New Zealand she embarked on an education at the University of Canterbury in Social Work and Psychology. After graduating she moved to London to work as a Social Worker for child soldiers from Sierra Leone and asylum seeking youth from Afghanistan, Kosovo, Eritrea, Nigeria, Rwanda and other nations suffering from civil war and internal conflict. Jade also worked for London Police running various community engagement and restorative justice programmes in Brixton, South London.
Since being back in New Zealand Jade has worked as a Social Worker for Child, Youth and Family, in prisons with young men-delivering Cognitive Behavioural Therapy programmes and also managed Māori Student Support Services (as well as working in the area of recruitment) at the University of Canterbury. Jade has travelled all around New Zealand speaking in schools, churches, government ministerial meetings and various communities about how faith and education has the potential to unlock dreams.
Jade has managed city-wide youth and community engagement projects and developed leadership programmes for many regions in New Zealand. She has managed and trained youth workers and educators in schools and communities over these past 6 years. Her teaching is fresh, insightful, dynamic and inspiring. Jade has also been involved in nation-wide ground breaking social research on indigenous rites of passage practises.
One of Jade’s greatest accomplishments thus far has been the development of a ‘dream-centre’ for youth to develop and nurture the spirit of leadership, innovation & creativity.
Jade most recently was a Lead Project Manager for a high-level Government youth and community transformation initiative called the Social Sector Trials. Her primary role was to facilitate communication between Cabinet Ministers and community leaders, allocate funding accordingly and initiate grass-roots strategic action to best meet the needs of youth and families.
Jade is the Founder of INDIGI-TALKS a motivational conference series, the Chair of the New Zealand wide Youth Crime Advisory Group and Director of Hohaia Innovations.
LAMEN AND BELENA HOHAIA Lead out on the Whanau (Family) Restoration Team Unit. This married couple has an extraordinary story of restoration, healing and hope. Lamen has spent 28 years working at and managing Christchurch Mens Prison. He has seen generations after generations from the same family units coming in through the prison system. Disheartened at the perpetual cycle of hurt, pain and a lack of positive influences to cut this flow of recidivism, violence and offending; Lamen now is looking to make himself available as a father-figure to speak into the lives of young people to share insights and solutions to succeed in life. Lamen helps with struggling married couples or parents, managing anger, violence, family break-downs and family-life issues.
Belena Hohaia is skilled in a variety of areas. A qualified Wellness Practitioner- she is concerned mostly with caring for the needs of struggling mothers, young women experiencing emotional issues, but also has extensive experience working with the elderly. Landscape architecture, abstract art and beauty therapy is a part of belena’s creative suite of talents and experience. Belena also helped to manage a boutique Bed and Breakfast in Christchurch for 10 years and has expert knowledge in the hospitality and accommodation arena. Belena holds the position of managing the administration of Hohaia Innovations.
JODY HOHAIA- is our INDIGI-Talks MC. The MC has the critical role of being the needle and thread that sews together all of the korero (discussions) on the day. A highly sought after speaker and excellent communicator of ideas and stories.
Jody is currently a Lecturer at the University of Canterbury in the School of Education. She has a double degree from the University of Canterbury and also holds a Post graduate Diploma in Bilingual Teaching and Learning. She has worked with children in the Philippines and in Nepal. Jody also represented the NZ Barbarian Touch Team in Cardiff Wales for the European Touch Championships. An amazing role-model for young woman, Jody is a mentor to many young girls who are in need of direction.
Jody also delivers on basic reo and tikanga workshops for corporate agencies and companies who desire to enhance their capacity to liaise more effectively with Maori business partners.
HOLIKA UHILA- Managers the Programme Development Unit for Hohaia Innovations. Tongan born, at 4yrs of age Holika moved to live in Fiji. In 1987 his family migrated to live in Auckland. For 6yrs he carried out his social work practice for CYF in Christchurch. He then moved
to head office in Wellington as Advisor for Learning and Capability Development. Holika is now the Senior Advisor for all of the Residential Youth Units in NZ and High Needs Services with Child Youth and Family. His biggest reward in his role was to sit with a young person crying- because his Social Worker didn’t give up on him.
JOSEPH O’SULLIVAN assists with projects of a media, photography and videography nature. Joseph is an incredibly talented young man who consistently produces cutting edge and high quality material. He is utilised by Hohaia Innovations because he is believed to be one of the best in the business. Joseph operates under his own company Joseph O’Sullivan Photography http://www.josephosullivanphotography.com