The New Zealand Law Society Council will shortly elect a new President to lead the legal profession and two wāhine toa, Nerissa Barber and Tiana Epati, have put their hands up to take the role. They do so at a time when the legal profession faces significant challenges around culture change; the reputation of the profession; inclusion and diversity of all kinds; and supporting the wellbeing of our profession.
“Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aotearoa, the New Zealand Māori Law Society, is committed to working alongside the New Zealand Law Society to address the wero (challenges) facing the legal profession, including Te Hunga Rōia Māori members, and we commend these wāhine toa for their leadership” says Glenn Tootill, Tumuaki Tane (Co-President) of Te Hunga Rōia Māori.
“Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aotearoa has decided to publicly endorse Tiana Epati for the role of New Zealand Law Society President” says Marcia Murray, Tumuaki Wahine (Co-President). “Tiana has been a strong supporter of Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aotearoa for a number of years, including her contributions to the development of the law regarding its impact on Māori, her past attendance and presentations at our annual conferences, and supporting the wellbeing of our profession through attendance of tangihanga of our members who have passed on. Most recently, Tiana joined us at our annual conference in Rotorua to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of our Society, where she presented on the growing recognition of cultural context and background in criminal sentencing, an area in which her legal work is leading the charge.
When considering the work ahead for the New Zealand Law Society and the legal profession, Tiana’s consistent demonstration of support for our membership and the Māori communities we represent, has confirmed to Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aotearoa that Tiana is committed to working alongside us to address the present issues that both the legal profession and our communities are facing.”
Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aotearoa wishes both candidates well for the remainder of the election process.