What do we do? » Awards and Grants » Cultural Awards » NZSTA Tohu Manaaki


NZSTA would like to recognise speech-language therapists’ contribution and action to manaaki others, embodying manaakitanga in and outside their workplace.

Manaaki encompasses how one recognises the mana of others by looking after people. It urges us to look for the best in a person and create opportunities to acknowledge a person in different ways. Demonstrating manaaki means we look after people in an empowering and mana-enhancing way.

Value: $1,000

Each nominee will receive a certificate recognising their commitment to manaaki.


Awarded in 2023 to: Nicky-Marie Kohere-Smiler

Nicky-Marie generously shares her time and knowledge to manaaki Māori SLTs and students, NZSTA kaupapa, and her community. Most of what she does is behind the scenes and is not well recognised. One of the many kaupapa she is involved with is the Programme Accreditation Framework review, and the knowledge she brings to the project is invaluable to the future direction of the profession.

She is committed to enhanced SLT services for whānau Māori and provides guidance and support for many SLTs navigating bicultural spaces. Nicky-Marie embodies manaakitanga in the way she cares for people and kaupapa.

Application and Eligibility

Nominees will have been observed to demonstrate:

  • the generosity of time and knowledge.
  • active support of others through whanaungatanga, rangatiratanga, aroha, and kotahitanga. 
  • positively influencing others’ engagement with speech-language therapy through encouragement and creating positive opportunities


Evidence will take the form of reference/nomination detailing how the individual has demonstrated manaaki. 

Award Process:

The winner of the Tohu Manaaki Award will be determined by the Māori rōpū and will be announced at the annual professional development event (NZSTA conference or symposium).

Application via nomination emailed to culturaldevelopment@speechtherapy.org.nz 

Application form

Award recipients may be approached to share their mahi with members through a Communication Matters article or a presentation.

If you have any queries, please get in touch with culturaldevelopment@speechtherapy.org.nz

Award Recipients from Previous Years

2022: Awarded to Matua Rukingi Haupapa
2021: Awarded to Hana Tuwhare