Taumata Rau Conversations

A series of panel conversations hosted by the Office of the Vice-Chancellor exploring the issues pertinent to Auckland and Aotearoa.


Waipapa Taumata Rau is our Māori name, gifted to the University in 2021 by the people of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei.

Taumata is an exhortation to excellence representing the many pinnacles of challenge and revelation. Rau means many or one hundred. The University and its community are made up of many peaks and so there are many conversations to be had, each considering multiple perspectives.  

Creating a fit-for-purpose NZ health workforce

Tuesday 17 October

The future health system in Aotearoa New Zealand will depend on a well-trained and fully staffed health workforce that can adapt to rapid changes in health science tools and techniques, including AI and genomics. Current training and staffing shortfalls challenging the health workforce here are not unique to NZ, and we are competing in a global market for healthcare professionals. This Taumata Rau Conversation, moderated by Sir Ashley Bloomfield, will explore what NZ needs to do now to ensure we have the health professionals that people will need to keep providing excellent care in future.  

Keynote: Dr Lloyd McCann, CEO of Tāmaki Health
Panellist 1: Dr Jenny Parr, Chief Nurse and Director of Patient and Whānau Experience at Te Whatu Ora
Panellist 2: Associate Professor Matire Harwood, Head of Department of General Practice and Primary Healthcare, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences at Waipapa Taumata Rau, University of Auckland
Panellist 3: Tamzin Brott, Chief Allied Health, Scientific and Technical Professions Officer, and Acting General Manager, Diagnostics and Clinical Support Services at Te Whatu Ora Waitematā
Moderator: Dr Ashley Bloomfield  

NZ's national and cyber security

Tuesday 24 October

In August 2023, the Ministry of Defence issued its first National Security Strategy. This Strategy articulated an integrated approach across a number of critical security themes we presently face in Aotearoa—noting in particular: "Malicious cyber actors, including state and non-state actors, present a persistent threat to all New Zealanders as well as New Zealand organisations, businesses, and government." With hundreds of incidents affecting nationally significant organisations each year, including recent attacks on Parliament, Auckland Transport, and several NZ universities, it is clear that cyber threats represent a clear and present danger.

Framed in this national context, the University of Auckland’s second Taumata Rau Conversation will explore the risks and potential impacts modern cyber threats pose to our critical infrastructures. Moderated by Tim McCready, our expert panel will also discuss solutions for a robust cybersecurity posture across sectors.

Keynote: Tony Lynch, Deputy Chief Executive of NZ’s National Security Group
Panellist 1: Lisa Fong, Deputy Director-General, National Cyber Security Centre, GCSB and University of Auckland alumna
Panellist 2: Prof Giovanni Russello, Professor and Head of the School of Computer Science
Panellist 3: Amber McEwen, CEO of REANNZ
Moderator: Tim McCready, Professional MC and facilitator and University of Auckland alumnus