Two national conferences in Whangarei this week will put the spotlight on the often hidden subjects of sexual violation and violence.

Lawmakers, academics, frontline helpers and delegates from agencies throughout New Zealand will be among nearly 90 people attending the TOAH-NNEST National Hui, 2015, at Toll Stadium today and tomorrow.

Te Ohaakii a Hine " National Network Ending Sexual Violence Together (TOAH-NNEST) is a collective of specialist services for sexual violence prevention and intervention around the country. It works with all aspects of sexual violence, including primary prevention, survivor support, treatment for harmful sexual behaviour and legislative reform.

This is the first time the annual event has been held in Whangarei and it has the theme "Ki A Ora, Ki Ao Ra, Healing From Within, Affecting Our World Today'.


It will be followed by the national conference and AGM of Rape Crisis collectives, from Friday until Sunday.

Representatives from the Women's Rape Crisis collective and associate groups will attend that organisation's annual conference at Te Renga Paraoa Marae in Whangarei.

TOAH-NNEST spokeswoman, Sandz Peipi said a full agenda and the number of across-sector agencies involved this year has meant extending the usually one-day annual conference to two days.

Speakers include Hinewirangi Kohu-Morgan, an artist, poet and board member of the International Indian Treaty Council and representative for the Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific movement, Janet Fanslow, associate professor in Mental Health Promotion at the School of Population Health, University of Auckland, Ngapuhi kaumatua Nuki Aldridge and former Labour MP and Te Hauora o Te Hiku o Te Ika Trust chairman Dr Bruce Gregory.