Australian Blogger Constance Hall, My Fathers Barbers' Matt Brown kick off TEDxChristchurch’s stellar 2019 lineup

Key Points

  • TEDxChristchurch and TEDxYouth@Christchurch 2019: Tūrangawaewae to be held Saturday 24 August and Sunday 25 August at the Christchurch Town Hall

  • First wave of speakers announced

  • Early bird tickets for both events expire Friday, 12 July

9 July, 2019, Christchurch, New ZealandConstance Hall: You’ll know her as the Australian blogger and Dancing With The Stars finalist whose often-viral Facebook posts are read by 1.5 million of her “Queens” around the world. 

Her books— Like a Queen and Still a Queen—give frank and soul-baring glimpses into the trials and tribulations she’s experienced as a mother of seven, wife, and social media sensation in a world that often labels women as used goods and failures. 

Matt Brown: You’ll recognise him as the Christchurch-based, internationally acclaimed barber and hair artist, author, and father of three who founded the hugely-successful My Fathers Barbers as a safe space for men to speak openly and without judgement.

Both of them have built incredible engagement within communities of their own gender in the hopes of promoting the same values for all genders: compassion, acceptance, vulnerability and healing. 

Both of them want to end to toxic masculinity, domestic violence, and sexual abuse.

And both of them are confirmed to take the stage at the much-anticipated TEDxChristchurch 2019: Tūrangawaewae event this August.

This year, the event’s organising team has joined forces with TEDxYouth@Christchurch to take over the Christchurch Town Hall for two events on 24-25 August. Over 40 speakers and performers will deliver powerful, uplifting, and emotional talks to 2,400 people across both events.

“If there was ever a year to travel to Ōtautahi for TEDxChristchurch, this is it,” says event curator and licensee Kaila Colbin. “Tūrangawaewae has been two years in the making. We’ve gone all in to make this year our most high-calibre and captivating experience ever.”

Included in the first batch of speaker announcements are two from overseas: David Clifford, a California-based educator who specialises in designing accessible, equitable learning environments at Stanford’s, and Joshua Chu-Tan, a postdoctoral fellow and lecturer with a focus on age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in the developed world.

From closer to home, the speaker lineup includes Aucklander and award-winning performance poet Carrie Rudzinski; New Zealand scientist and biochemist Dr Susan Kessans, who is working on what we’ll eventually eat on Mars; and the Southern Cross Irish Dancers.

Christchurch’s own born-and-raised radio and television journalist Jack Tame is the event’s master of ceremonies.

At the TEDxYouth@Christchurch event on Saturday, 24 August, attendees 25 and under will hear from the talented comedian, poet and 2019 Billy T Award nominee Ray Shipley; the young entrepreneur and Crimson Education co-founder Jamie Beaton; and Kirstie Amadio, the founder and CEO of Recovered Living, an online provider of treatment and support for eating disorders.

More speaker announcements for both events are still to come over the next month.

The events’ Tūrangawaewae theme has been woven into everything from the content of the talks to the catering to the visual identity, which has resulted in a beautiful tukutuku panel borne from the collaboration between Creative Partner Strategy Design and Cultural Partner Matapopore.

Early bird tickets are selling fast—$37.50 for the youth event on Saturday and $169 for TEDxChristchurch event on Sunday—and prices increase on Friday 12 July, when general admission tickets are released. Tickets are available at, and through

Thanks to partners like Computer Concepts Limited, Davis Ogilvie, Hamilton Jet, Orbica, Environment Canterbury and Go Media, both events are set to be spectacular; tickets include all catering for the events, including a steady flow of barista coffee from Hummingbird throughout the day. Also included in tickets to Sunday’s event is the afterparty and the world-famous-in-Christchurch goody bag.

Gwen Hooper
TEDxChristchurch and TEDxYouth@Christchurch, together for the first time

Almost 2,500 attendees will celebrate a special tenth edition of TEDxChristchurch this August, over two events at the Christchurch Town Hall.


Key Points

·         TEDxChristchurch and TEDxYouth@Christchurch have partnered to host two events across 24-25 August at Christchurch Town Hall.

·         Milestone event to showcase 20 speakers and performers, as well as previous TEDxChristchurch speaker alumni.

·         Youth event will feature half day event with 12 speakers and performers.

·         Organisers are working with Cultural Partner Matapopore on the special theme for this milestone event: Tūrangawaewae. “Tūrangawaewae” means “standing place” or “place of belonging.”

Christchurch, New Zealand—After two years of smaller, more intimate events, the TEDxChristchurch and TEDxYouth@Christchurch teams are gearing up to bring not just one, but two days of ideas worth spreading to the Christchurch Town Hall.

On Saturday, 24 August, a special half-day youth event—curated and produced by youth, specifically for youth—will feature 12 speakers and performers at the James Hay Theatre. The organising team, spearheaded by TEDxYouth@Christchurch licensee and curator Hannah Hudson, also hosted the successful TEDxYouth@AvonRiver event in 2018.

On Sunday, 25 August, the tenth edition of TEDxChristchurch will be a full-day event in the Douglas Lilburn Auditorium, showcasing a lineup of 20 carefully curated speakers and performers to an audience of 1700.

Together with the wisdom of local mana whenua, the TEDxChristchurch and TEDxYouth@Christchurch organising teams are exploring the events’ most inclusive theme ever, Tūrangawaewae: A place to stand.

“For nine years, we have opened every TEDxChristchurch with a mihi, delivered by mana whenua, to acknowledge and show our respect to the traditional people of this land,” says TEDxChristchurch licensee and curator Kaila Colbin.

“Now, for our tenth edition of TEDxChristchurch, we are honoured to progress our journey towards bicultural practice, by partnering with Matapopore to integrate tikanga Māori into the heart of our event.”

The word “tūrangawaewae” literally means standing place (tūranga), feet (waewae), and in the Māori worldview, is a powerful concept relating to the sense of identity we gain from having a place we call home. For Ngāi Tūāhuriri, tūrangawaewae is about whakapapa (kinship) and the importance of being able to connect to one’s ancestral land and sites of cultural significance.

“Matapopore has broken new ground as a first for indigenous cultures, to significantly transform the way Ōtautahi Christchurch has been rebuilt physically and ensure traditional values are woven into its urban environment,” says Matapopore Trustee says Matapopore Trustee Lynne Harata-Te Aika. “Our partnership with TEDxChristchurch is a further step to invite the community to experience the significance of these values and aspirations.”

“The TEDxChristchurch team puts a huge significance on the importance of storytelling and curating great content, similar to our historical tradition of passing on knowledge orally, from expert to learner, from adult to child. We appreciate the work they are doing to help the greater community understand the importance of Tūrangawaewae and have enjoyed working with them to develop the theme and design of their tenth event.”

Matapopore’s cultural advisers were engaged for the theme design of the event, with a customised tukutuku panel designed by Kaitiaki Studios artist Morgan Mathews-Hale and approved by Matapopore included in the final theme branding.

“Tūrangawaewae is represented here as a contemporary version of a tukutuku panel, including the acknowledgement of Ngāi Tūāhuriri as tangata whenua,” says Mathews-Hale.

“The design’s contemporary koru forms represent Ngā Tangata (our people) and the aramoana (waves) representing the various bodies of water that sustain our takiwā (region). There is a specific importance of wai (water) to Tūrangawaewae in the sustainability of our outer world, our environment, and our inner world, wai and its mauri (life force),” she explains.

“The purapura whetū (stars) above are a representation of that ‘inner’ sense of Tūrangawaewae and our individual direction and aspirations. This particular whetū depicts Matariki, our winter star, and is a direct reference to Ngāi Tūāhuriri, alongside Maukatere (Mount Grey).”

Thanks to partners like Matapopore Charitable Trust, Strategy Creative, Computer Concepts Limited, Davis Ogilvie, Hamilton Jet, Go Media, the tenth edition of TEDxChristchurch 2019 will be a spectacular example of what makes Ōtautahi Christchurch so unique, featuring special audience activations, interactive art installations, a pop-up bookstore from Scorpio Books, and more. The TEDxChristchurch commitment to locally sourced, sustainable, delicious food is also as strong as ever, with refreshments for both events encompassing offerings from renowned local chefs Richard Till, Dan Shanks, and the Vbase team, and Sunday’s event lunch features a special hāngi from local hāngi master Grenville Pitama. The catering, as well as free barista coffee from Hummingbird coffee, is included in every ticket sale. 

Tickets are available from,, and Eventbrite.






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About TEDx, x = independently organized event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, often in the form of short talks delivered by leading thinkers and doers. Many of these talks are given at TED conferences, including our annual gathering in Vancouver, as well as TEDWomen, intimate TED Salons and thousands of independently organized TEDx events around the world. Videos of these talks are made available, free, on and  other platforms. Audio versions of the talks from TED2019 will also be published to TED's podcast TED Talks Daily, available on Apple Podcasts and all other podcast platforms.

TED's open and free initiatives for spreading ideas include, where new TED Talk videos are posted daily; TEDx, which licenses thousands of individuals and groups to host local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; the TED Fellows program, which selects innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities; the Audacious Project, which surfaces and funds critical ideas that have the potential to impact millions of lives; TEDSummit, which gathers the most engaged members of the global TED community for brainstorms, discussions, performances, workshops and an eclectic program of mainstage talks; and the educational initiative TED-Ed. TED also has a library of original podcasts, including The TED Interview with Chris Anderson, Sincerely, X, and one of Apple Podcasts’ most downloaded new shows of 2018, WorkLife with Adam Grant.

Follow TED on Twitter at, on Facebook at, on Instagram at and on Snapchat at tedtalkshq.


About Matapopore Charitable Trust

Matapopore is the mana whenua voice in recovery and is responsible for ensuring Ngāi Tūāhuriri/Ngāi Tahu values, aspirations and narratives are realised within the recovery of Christchurch. Matapopore do this by bringing together teams of Ngāi Tūāhuriri and Ngāi Tahu experts in natural heritage, mahinga kai, te reo Maori, whakapapa, urban design, art, architecture, landscape architecture, weaving and traditional arts to work alongside central and local government.The Matapopore design teams provide advice and interpretation on the Ngāi Tūāhuriri/Ngāi Tahu historical narratives and, key kaupapa and values such as whakapapa, mahinga kai, manaakitanga, mana motuhake and ture wairua to achieve design outcomes which meet the Ngāi Tahu objectives of the Recovery Plan and are ultimately more meaningful and respectful of the history and cultural landscape in which the projects are located. Visit for more information.

Gwen Hooper
Sharing Extraordinary Stories at TEDxChristchurch 2018: The Campfire

International educational disruptor Hamish Brewer and ActionStation Director Laura O'Connell Rapira head the list of the talented speakers taking the TEDxChristchurch stage this Saturday.

Key Points

  • TEDxChristchurch 2018: The Campfire event is sold out

  • People can watch via live stream or attend a public viewing party

  • Next year’s event at the Christchurch Town Hall set to celebrate TEDxChristchurch’s 10-year anniversary

Christchurch, New Zealand—There’s a good chance you've heard of Hamish Brewer, the relentless, tattooed, skateboarding, Kiwi principal in Northern Virginia. With an approach that doesn't match the traditional vision of a school principal—incorporating innovative concepts like black light parties, deskless and audio-enhanced classrooms, and skateboard giveaways to empower his students—Hamish has become widely known as an educational disrupter who transcends the status quo and typical educational norms. This Saturday, Hamish is returning to Aotearoa to share his story with attendees of TEDxChristchurch 2018: The Campfire.

Among others, he’ll be sharing the stage with Laura O’Connell Rapira, another no-nonsense rebel with a cause. Like Hamish, Laura has used her work to empower youth to take charge of their shared future—this time in the local political arena—through co-founding Rock Enrol, acting as Director of Campaigns at ActionStation, and helping to create an online community of more than 180,000 like-minded members who participate in campaigns designed to drive a fairer, more just and sustainable Aotearoa.

Hamish and Laura are just two of the extraordinary speakers set to take the stage at TEDxChristchurch 2018: The Campfire, happening at The Piano this Saturday. Other carefully curated voices include teenage inventor Zach Preston, world champion freediver William Trubridge, Professor and Researcher Maggie-Lee Huckabee, father and son scientists Professors Anthony and Phil Butler, NZ Needle Exchange Programme Executive Director Kathryn Leafe, Professor of Political Science Alex Tan, and New Zealand Slam Poetry Champion Daisy Lavea-Timo.

Christchurch-based alt/pop and indie musical duo The Response round out entertainment on the day, and the whole show will be opened by the 50-voice strong Christchurch Pops Choir.

Similar to the TEDxChristchurch 2017: Unplug. Reconnect. event, this year’s experience is strikingly intimate, with only 320 attendees; the show is fully sold out. But the extraordinary line-up is accessible via live stream or at one of the many viewing parties happening around Christchurch and the South Island and listed on

The event’s partners, including Christchurch City Council, Computer Concepts Limited, Davis Ogilvie, creative partner Strategy Creative, and catering partner Richard Till, have all been active champions of the TEDxChristchurch platform for years, providing the foundation for ample flickers of awe, inspiration, and connection around The Campfire.

And despite being laser focused on Saturday’s event, the team is also ramping up for next year—at the newly restored Christchurch Town Hall—as TEDxChristchurch celebrates its tenth year of sharing ideas worth spreading.

Gwen Hooper
TEDxChristchurch Welcomes Gold Partner Computer Concepts Limited for 2018 and 2019

We’re delighted to announce Computer Concepts Limited has joined us around The Campfire at The Piano this year, and that they’ve also committed to supporting our 10-year anniversary event next year at Christchurch Town Hall.

While Computer Concepts Limited prides itself on delivering innovative solutions—including infrastructure, data protection, network services, security, project management and more—they recognise that none of their professional services would be possible without their talented and passionate staff. Their viewpoint on this is simple. It’s all about the people.

This commitment to retaining their human-centered values is what makes Computer Concepts Limited such a welcomed TEDxChristchurch partner. We look forward to continuing this relationship for many years to come.

Gwen Hooper
Davis Ogilvie Joins TEDxChristchurch as Silver Partner

TEDxChristchurch welcomes partnerships with organisations that share our desire for a forward-looking, innovative, sustainable city. And that’s why we’re so happy to welcome Davis Ogilvie back this year as Silver Partner.

Davis Ogilvie provides a complete range of multi-disciplinary engineering, surveying and environmental planning services within one company, covering structural, civil and geotechnical engineering, land surveying, resource management planning and environmental science.

They’re also one of the South Island’s first engineering consultancies to achieve CarboNZero certification, a major accomplishment and something we’re proud to be associated with. The company is committed to managing and reducing its emissions and has neutralised its remaining unavoidable emissions.

We’re looking forward to a long and fruitful relationship with Davis Ogilvie, and hoping many other companies follow their sustainable lead.

Gwen Hooper