19 – 20 October 2022, Palmerston North

Are you looking for a conference that covers all aspects of running a non-profit organisation, not just one or two?

Tonic Conference 2022 in Palmerston North is all about Inspiring Impact. Inspiring the impact of your organisation, and your own impact.

Tonic Conference is New Zealand’s best value event for for-purpose organisations. It’s like an annual check-up for non-profit organisations and it’s full of practical ideas for becoming stronger, smarter and better equipped. It’s jam-packed with practical workshops and expert speakers, including sessions on fundraising, marketing, leadership, governance, volunteering and looking after yourself. You’ll leave conference with fresh ideas that are easy to implement and new connections and inspiration for the work you do in contributing to the impact of your organisation.

Last year sold out! Grab your Early Bird ticket today (by clicking on the green button on the top right-hand side of this page) Or if you have any questions, please contact Gillian at gillian@exult.co.nz

Tonic Conference will be run following the COVID-19 framework set out by the NZ Government. You can read our terms and conditions and cancellation policy here


Wednesday 19 October – Thursday 20 October 2022


Palmy Conference + Events Centre, 354 Main Street, Palmerston North


Early-bird registrations: $390 pp incl GST (On sale NOW until 31 August 2022)

Standard Registration: $435 pp incl GST (from 1 September 2022)

Networking & Nibbles: $35 pp incl GST (optional but lots of fun!) Held at the venue on Wednesday 19 October, 5.15 pm-7.15 pm. Tickets essential


Speaker - Atawhai Tibble

Engagement champion

Atawhai Tibble has the superpower of building partnerships between Māori and the Crown. Of Ngāti Porou, Te Whānau a Apanui, Tuwharetoa, Whanganui, and Raukawa ki te Tonga descent, Atawhai is a Wellington-based strategic policy advisor, with interests spanning the economics of Māori well-being, the valuation of Māori language and culture, the measurement of cultural capital, the behavioural drivers of Māori outcomes, and Māori economic and social policy more generally. Atawhai has been involved in the development of Te Kupenga, Stats NZ’s first survey of Māori wellbeing. When the COVID lockdown hit, he played a lead role in an initiative called Manaaki, which was about ensuring iwi had a voice in central government decision-making. And recently he founded Tūhono Māori Network to connect young Māori professionals and more experienced Māori professionals. Atawhia has developed a framework for engaging with Māori, called the 5 Wai’s framework. It’s all about how you engage with Māori in a way that works for Māori.

Speaker - Melissa Vining

The driving force behind Southland Charity Hospital

When Melissa Vining’s husband Blair was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer in late 2018, the couple were shocked to discover first-hand how severely under-resourced the public health service was in New Zealand. The pair spent the rest of Blair’s life campaigning relentlessly to improve cancer treatment in New Zealand; their petition to create a national cancer agency was signed by more than 140,000 New Zealanders. They also established the Southland Charity Hospital Trust, which is building a community hospital where people who live in Otago and Southland declined care by the Southern District Health Board can access colonoscopies and dental care for free. After Blair died in October 2019, Melissa has continued to work tirelessly advocating for patients, and to get the hospital off the ground, and in December 2020 construction on the hospital began. The Southland Charity Hospital is modelled on the Canterbury Charity Hospital, which has helped thousands of patients since its inception in 2007, and will not receive any government funding. Instead, it will rely on donations, grants, and volunteer hours from its staff.

Speaker - Kate Frykberg

Philanthropist & community mobiliser

Kate is a consultant working with boards, funders, and community organisations.  Her work includes facilitating strategic planning, supporting better philanthropy, and working with Tūmanako Consultants to help organisations to better support Māori aspirations. Kate’s current board roles include social enterprise The Innovation Unit Australia NZ, philanthropic trust Te Muka Rau and rangatahi development organisation Tuia Trust.  Previous board roles include Philanthropy NZ, the Edmund Hillary Fellowship, the Ngāi Tahu Fund and Quotable Value NZ.  She also spent ten years as the Executive Director of the Todd Foundation. Kate’s first career was in information technology and entrepreneurship. Highlights include co-founding one of NZ’s first Internet Development companies, receiving the ASB Businesswoman of the Year award and being awarded the NZ Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to business and the community.

Speaker - Rebekah Ballagh

Best-selling author and counsellor

Rebekah Ballagh is a qualified counsellor, mindfulness coach and published best-selling author and illustrator. She’s also a mama, a wife, and someone who has faced anxiety, panic attacks and depression. Becks has worked with hundreds of clients to better manage their mental health and has developed courses and tools out of all the things that work best, straight from the therapy room.  After working as a high school counsellor, Becks wanted clients to remember the tools she taught them between sessions, and none of the resources available at the time felt fun, colourful or digestible to her, so she developed her own resources by illustrating therapy tips and counselling concepts. She posted these tools to Instagram and now @journey_to_wellness_ is a community of 348,000 people and growing by the day. Becks continues to develop resources, best-selling books, courses and speaking engagements.

Speaker - Cissy Rock

Community champion

Cissy is committed to community development processes, combining systematic thinking with grassroots doing. Cissy loves working with people and communities, finding ways for all to have a voice. Her approach is collaborative, dedicated and passionate.  Cissy addresses symptoms of inclusion, exclusion, and patronization, working within the dynamics of systems in ways that develop and build cohesion.  She is not afraid to give her opinion or roll up her sleeves to help make things happen. With over 15 years’ experience working alongside communities and with Local Government, integrity is at the heart of her work.

Korrin Barrett

Speaker - Korrin Barrett

Living ‘Life Unlimited’

Korrin Barrett is living ‘life unlimited.’ After surviving sepsis in 2012 resulting in amputations to her hands and feet, Korrin became a quadruple amputee and her life changed forever but she hasn’t let this stop her. She has conquered more than anyone could imagine, undergone life changing osseointegration surgery on her legs and now wears a Bebionic muscle powered arm. Korrin is extremely dedicated to sharing her story of resilience and survival with community organisations and charities. She has inspired thousands of people worldwide through speaking events, social media and as a mentor and ambassador and promises to ensure you feel inspired and empowered to overcome anything as she chooses to live life unlimited. 

Speaker - Kerri Price

Facilitator extraordinaire 

Kerri is well-known to regular Tonic delegates and is a firm favourite in our Tonic line-up. She has over 20 years experience in the community sector and is known for her practical tools and enthusiastic approach to making things happen. Kerri is the CEO of Real Team—a boutique learning and development company that specialises in Leadership and Team Development, and she is the founder of The Facilitators Network—an organisation that supports facilitators to connect, learn and grow together. Kerri has worked with organisations and communities throughout New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific, and is excited to be back at Tonic Conference for another year.

Speaker - Pete Burdon

Expert media trainer

Pete Burdon is a media training specialist and international author of ‘Media Training for Modern Leaders’. After working as a daily newspaper reporter and government press secretary, he could see a major disconnect between the news media and the spokespeople they interviewed. This often led to good people having their reputations damaged because they did not know how to speak to reporters or understand that this was a totally unique skill. He also saw so many organisations fail to attract positive media attention for the great things they were doing because they didn’t understand the process. This led to the formation of Media Training NZ and PeteBurdon.com where the focus is on turning leaders into master media spokespeople and communication staff and experts into savvy media publicity hunters. When he’s not training, Pete is presenting to conferences and other events across New Zealand and Australia. He holds Masters degrees in both Journalism and Communication Management.

M.C - Sala Tiatia

M.C extraordinaire!

Extending a massive welcome to our MC Sala, back for his third year as Tonic Conference MC. Those of you who have had the privilege of meeting Sala at Tonic Conference know the fun, energy, empathy and pearls of wisdom he brings to a room. He is a man of many talents. He is a youth educator who has been involved in youth work for the last 30 years, most recently in alternative education as Education Manager at Te Kauapapa Whakaora at Te Ora Hou in Ōtautahi Christchurch. He trains youth workers and runs leadership programmes, is a keynote speaker (check out his TED Talk,The Power of Words), and he won the People’s Choice Award in Survivor NZ Season one. Sala is married to his Māori queen Danette, who he refers to as his heart, and has six amazingly talented tamariki, his six heartbeats.

Speaker - Megan Thorn

Professional facilitator

Megan is a whirlwind of energy and enthusiasm with more than 19 years’ experience in facilitation and developing, designing and delivering training programs. She has worked with people in corporate, government and Not-For-Profit organisations all over the world. Community and Not-For-Profit organisations are her passion, working with people who make a real, positive difference in their communities. Megan focuses on supporting community and non-profit organisations at the business end of what they do. She has a real knack for delivering useful information in an engaging way, she will make you laugh and think, but most of all she will give you practical tools you can easily implement in your organisation

The Conference Programme & Timetable

Programme: The full conference programme will be avaliable soon

Timetable: The conference start and finish times are:

Day 1 –  Wednesday 19 October 2022

  • 8.15am –  Registration opens and the coffee is hot. Day 1 gets underway at 9.00am.
  • 4.45pm  – Day 1 ends, followed by the optional (but lots of fun!) Networking and Nibbles from 5.15pm-7.15pm at the venue.

Day 2 – Thursday 20 October 2022

  • 8.45 am – Day 2 gets underway
  • 3.00pm – Conference concludes.

Networking & Nibbles

Join us for Networking & Nibbles!

Sample delicious canapes showcasing the best of the Manawatu, matched with local wine and beer. The event will take place at the venue, on Wednesday 19 October, 5.15pm-7.15pm and is the perfect opportunity to relax after Day 1 and mix with other delegates.

You need a ticket to enter, so grab yours today here

Looking for Accommodation?

The Distinction Palmerston North and Distinction Coachman are offering special bed and breakfast rates for Tonic Conference 2022 delegates with the code: EXU2022. The Distinction Palmerston North is an easy 4-minute walk to the conference venue, while the Distinction Coachman is just a 3-minute drive.

To secure these rates book online by visiting:

Distinction Palmerston North www.distinctionhotelspalmerstonnorth.co.nz/EXULT22

Distinction Coachman www.distinctionhotelscoachman.co.nz/EXULT22


Have you been to Palmy before?

It’s a great place! Palmerston North is an inland city with more than 81,000 locals. It’s situated in a beautiful setting surrounded by rich and fertile pasture inland. Palmy is well-known in the field of research – especially in the bio-industry, defence, distribution and smart business sectors. The city is home to more than 70 major educational and research institutions, including New Zealand’s fastest expanding university, Massey University. It’s also known for its rose gardens and has been called the “Rose City”. 

Getting there is easy

From the North – you can fly direct to Palmerston North from Auckland or from Hamilton (transiting in Christchurch). It’s an easy drive from Taupo, Taranaki or Hawkes Bay.

From the South – you can fly direct from Christchurch or you can fly to Palmy from Nelson, Dunedin, Invercargill and Queenstown if you’re comfortable transiting in Christchurch. Wellington folks might like to drive or catch the Capital Connection train that runs on weekdays.

What 2021 Delegates Say

“Thanks Exult team, another challenging & inspiring two days! Having worked over 12 years in my NFP role, Exult conferences & other Exult support provides my ‘shot in the arm’, my reminder as to why I do what I do, & re-invigorates my passion for wanting to make a difference in my community. Thanks again!”

Robyn King, Education Trust Central Plateau

“The keynote speakers were amazing, the MC was hilarious and the food was fantastic!”

Victoria Sharp, Just Zilch

“Absolute awesome energy! Inspirational and awesome to pull ourselves out of the everyday to reflect and celebrate our sector/people.”

Christal Morrison, Safe Turangi

“An excellent, practical, inspiring conference, so much to think about and put into practice. Keep up the amazing work you do supporting all the NFP’s out there.”

Nikki Smih, Anglican Care Centre