Talanoa Mau is the historic coming together of artists, policymakers, leaders, doers and thinkers from around the world and Aotearoa/New Zealand to examine and present their ideas and creative projects of global significance.

We hear from artists Peter Sellars (US), Faustin Linyekula (DRC), Neo Muyanga (SA), Chiké Frankie Edozien (NIG), Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal (NZ), Jahra ‘Rager’ Wasasala (NZ), Coco Solid aka Jessica Hansell (NZ), Alistair Fraser (NZ), Kara Jackson (US) and Chigozie Obioma (NIG); leaders and public thinkers His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Ta’isi Efi (SAM), Pania Newton (NZ), Golriz Ghahraman MP (NZ), Tāmati Kruger (NZ), Patrick Snedden (NZ), Te Kaurinui Parata (NZ), Hon. Luamanuvao Dame Winnie Laban (NZ), Dame Anne Salmond (NZ), Leali’ifano Dr Albert L Refiti (NZ), Jade Kake (NZ), Lana Lopesi (NZ), and Emalani Case (NZ); and more.

We invite you and your organisation to listen and consider the perspectives of artists, academics, historians, indigenous voices and leaders from Aotearoa and around the world. You will leave inspired, changed and ready to see the future in a new light.

The ticket is a two-day pass. You will hear from all of the speakers listed above, and more. You will have opportunities to network with fellow delegates and talk with our speakers. Tickets include lunch each day and refreshments.

Make the pilgrimage to Pōneke, Te Whanganui-a-Tara, and be part of an historic meeting that places art at the centre of urgent public decision making, carving a path to our future.

"The future of our humanity and our existence lies in our binding together to create the conditions for beauty and truth to be born. Talanoa mau literally means speaking truth." Lemi Ponifasio.

Advance bookings only.

The application period for Artist Scholarships has now closed.



Earlybird Registration (until 14 February): $489

Regular Admission: $549

Buy 2+ and save: For groups of 2-10, the first ticket is $549 with subsequent tickets at $499

Tickets for Talanoa Mau are available through iTICKET. Booking fees apply. To book, click Register.


Presenters at Talanoa Mau

Salā Lemi Ponifasio, Curator of Talanoa Mau

Director, Choreographer, and Artist

Lemi Ponifasio

Peter Sellars

Visionary Opera and Theatre Director

Peter Sellars 1 © Ruth Walz.jpg

His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Ta’isi Efi

Samoa's former Head of State

His Highness Tui Atua Tamasese Ta'isi Efi

Dame Anne Salmond

Preeminent New Zealand Historian, Professor, and Writer

ARTEFACT_Call of the Huia_Anne Salmond_Akl War Memorial Museum.jpg

Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal

Composer, Author, and Consultant on Mātauranga Maori


Golriz Ghahraman MP

Politician and Member of Parliament


Kara Jackson

Writer and US Youth Poet Laureate

Kara Jackson.jpg

Coco Solid aka Jessica Hansell

Musician, Writer, Visual Artist and 2019 National Arts Foundation Arts Laureate


Alistair Fraser

Kaiwhakatangitangi a Ngā Taonga Pūoro / Taonga Pūoro practitioner


Tāmati Kruger

Māori advocate, Social and Political Analyst


Chigozie Obioma

Writer shortlisted for multiple Booker Prizes

Chigozie Obioma, photo by Jason Keith.jpg

Hon. Luamanuvao Dame Winnie Laban

Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Pasifika) at Victoria University of Wellington


Leali’ifano Dr Albert L Refiti

Research leader, Pacific spatial and architectural environment


Faustin Linyekula

Dancer, Choreographer and Theatre Maker


Pania Newton

Lawyer and Activist for Māori land rights

Pania Newton

Pat Snedden

Te Tiriti negotiator, Corporate Director, Not-for-profit leader in health and education

Pat Sneddan

Chiké Frankie Edozien

Writer, Journalist, and Professor at New York University

Chiké Frankie Edozien, photo by Victor Adewale.JPG

Te Kaurinui Parata

Carver and Environmentalist


Neo Muyanga

Composer and Musician


Jade Kake

Writer, Architect and Housing Advocate

Jade Kake.jpg

Jahra ‘Rager’ Wasasala



Lana Lopesi

Writer and Art Critic


Emalani Case

Pacific Studies Lecturer and Writer


“This is possibly one of the most unexpected and extraordinary line-ups I have seen for a conference in New Zealand. And as a leader of a profession that engineers better lives for New Zealanders, there’s no more important time to be musing and taking action on the future we want to create, with humanity at its core.”

Susan Freeman-Greene, CEO Engineering New Zealand, Talanoa Mau attendee

Conference Schedule

Talanoa Mau, curated by Lemi Ponifasio
Monday 24 and Tuesday 25 February 2020
Soundings Theatre, Te Papa

Schedule information

Talanoa Mau will be hosted by Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal, an independent researcher, consultant and composer from Aotearoa/New Zealand.

The conference will follow a Speaker/Responder model, with speakers having 20 minutes to present their viewpoint, followed by a 10 minute response from another presenter. In addition, there will be one 60-90mins panel discussion each day.

The Speaker/Responder format has been designed to find unexpected spaces of clarity by placing different forms of expression and cultural lenses alongside each other, to ensure a dynamic environment.

Please find below a broad overview of the order of events and presenters for each day of Talanoa Mau. The final schedule will be released soon.

Monday 24 February 2020

08:00am: Pōhiri, Te Marae, Te Papa

08:30am: Opening ceremonies and speeches, Te Marae, followed by refreshments

09:30pm - 12:30pm: Talanoa Mau, Soundings Theatre (includes refreshments break)

12:30pm - 13:30pm: Lunch, Oceania Room, Te Papa

13:30pm - 17:00pm: Talanoa Mau, Soundings Theatre (includes refreshments break)

17:00 - 18:30: Break / end of day

18:30: Option to attend an invite-only viewing of MAU: House of Night and Day a major new installation by Lemi Ponifasio at Te Papa. Refreshments provided.

Tuesday 25 February 2020

08:20am: Mihi Whakatau, Oceania Room, Te Papa, followed by refreshments

09:00pm - 13:00pm: Talanoa Mau, Soundings Theatre (includes refreshments break)

13:00pm - 14:00pm: Lunch, Oceania Room, Te Papa

14:00pm - 17:20pm: Talanoa Mau, Soundings Theatre (includes refreshments break)

17:20pm - 17:30pm: Poroporoaki, closing ceremonies

For further enquiries please contact ticketing.