Become a Speaker

Who are our speakers

In New Zealand, 80% of people living with HIV reported experiencing stigma and discrimination. Much of this stems from fear, ignorance and out-dated misconceptions about what it really means to live with HIV today. 

The New Zealand Positive Speakers’ Bureau was created by people living with HIV, for people living with HIV, to give them a voice and greater involvement in the response to ending HIV.

We believe that centering people living with HIV as educators and providing opportunities for them to share their lived experiences, is one of the most effective ways to reduce stigma and discrimination. 

Our community of Speakers are from a diverse range of backgrounds, ethnicities, genders, and sexualities. What unites everyone is that they are strong people who are passionate advocates for ending HIV stigma and discrimination. 

Managed and administered by the registered charity Positive Women Inc. , the PSB receives an allocation of funds from the Ministry of Health each year which is part of the wider Positive Women Inc funding contract. These funds enable us to provide a small koha for speakers’ assignments, and covers any travel related costs.

How to become a PSB Speaker

All of our Speakers are required to undergo extensive training and mentoring.  The Whakataki programme recognises that everyone’s journey of living with HIV is different and offers new Speakers a more holistic structure that includes skills and knowledge, as well as support.

About the Whakataki Programme - New Speakers Training

The activities of our Whakataki programme look at all aspects of what is required to become a Speaker with the PSB. This includes:

  • HIV knowledge, 
  • An understanding of the purpose of the PSB and the role of a PSB Speaker as an educator,
  • Speaking skills development,
  • Structures to support Speakers on their journey into public speaking.

Recognises that everyone’s journey of living with HIV is different the programme offers a mixture of fixed date activities and activities which are more flexible and can be completed in your own time.  

Overall, the programme is estimated to take up to 144 hours in total and could take as little as a couple of months or up to 12 months to fully complete.

About the Whakataki Programme activities

1.    PSB Self-evaluation Skills and Knowledge survey – this survey helps us gauge where you think your skills and knowledge strengths are at the beginning of the programme.  You will be asked to complete the survey again at the end of the programme to measure any changes. This data can be useful for our reporting to the Ministry of Health but also acts as a reflective tool for speakers.  It will take about 30 minutes to complete the survey. 

2.    Successful completion of the HIV Essentials online course – In our role as community Educators, PSB Speakers need to ensure their HIV knowledge is accurate and up-to-date. New speakers will be required to complete an interactive online course called HIV Essentials.  This course provides up-to-date information about HIV in the context of Aotearoa and was developed by the Positive Speakers’ Bureau with contributions from people living with HIV and others who have many years of experience within the HIV sector. 

Speakers need to allow up to 2 hours to complete HIV Essentials which must be completed before the 4-day residential workshop.  NB. If you have already completed this course – FANTASTIC – you are not required to repeat it.

3.    Participation in a 4-day residential workshop. Run by people living with HIV (and who are PSB speakers themselves), this part of the programme is where Speakers get to unpack and structure their story, learn about using body language, pronunciation, voice projection, dealing with challenging questions, and keeping safe. 

This intensive training will be based in Auckland over 4 days from Thursday 15 February – Sunday 18 February 2024.  All costs and travel will be covered by the PSB. New Speakers must be prepared to take leave to travel and will require 100% attendance over the entire 4 days.

4.    Viewing additional online training and resources. These resources have been developed as part of a comprehensive toolkit for PSB speakers specifically prepared by the PSB and wider HIV Community.  The PSB team will provide you with access to view these and you will have an opportunity to meet with an online group to discuss the topics further.  

Speakers will be required to self-manage further education and skills to complete the programme. It is estimated that new Speakers will need to allow up to 10 hours + preparation for this work.

5.    PSB peer mentoring and coaching – this is a support function of the programme to help Speakers enter the speaking world and undertake PSB assignments.  All new Speakers will be matched to a Mentor to ensure they have the support they need.  New Speakers will be able to identify the types of audiences they would like to work with, and the PSB Coordinator and Mentors will work with new Speakers to create a future pathway. This will be explained in detail at the 4-day residential training but typically New Speakers are expected to:

a.      observe a live speaking event, 
b.      co-present,
c.      present solo with support from a mentor.

How long this process takes will depend on the number of speaking opportunities available at the time, your location and mentor availability.


What are the eligibility requirements?

To be eligible to apply for the Whakataki Programme, applicants must:

  • be living with HIV 
  • be a permanent resident or citizen of New Zealand
  • available to attend the full 4-day residential workshop being held in Auckland, 15 – 18 February 2024;
  • ideally available (with notice) during weekdays and some evenings and weekends. 

Please fill in all questions in this survey - incomplete surveys will not be considered. The next Whakataki dates have not been set, but we welcome expressions of interest via the survey.


Application Form

The 2024 PSB Whakataki programme is only able to facilitate 10 people. We are expecting to receive more applications than places available. Please understand that weighting may be applied to ensure a diversity of speakers and to those living in areas where there is a higher demand for Speakers. This could mean that not all people who apply will get into the programme this time.  If you do not get on the next programme, you can be added to a temporary waitlist and contacted if someone is unable to attend, or you will be invited to reapply for the next programme.

If funding permits, we hope to offer this programme every two years to ensure we have a steady intake of Speakers to sustain our numbers and meet the needs of our audiences.

If you have any questions about the programme or the application process, please do not hesitate to contact the PSB Coordinator, Kit Harding at [email protected].

APPLY NOW Whakataki Application Form 2024

Please fill in all questions in this survey - incomplete surveys will not be considered..