Tuakana / Teina Breakfasts in Pōneke
On 13 September 2013, Te Hunga Roia o Aotearoa ki Poneke hosted a tuakana/teina breakfast for current Maori law students and Maori law graduates working in Wellington.
The kaupapa of the breakfast was, ‘A day in the life of an alumni’. The focus was to help provide an insight into the plethora of options available to tauira as they begin to think about entering into the work force as a law graduate, and to highlight the lives of our practitioners working in a range of fields with their legal tohu.
We were fortunate to hear from:
Māmari Stephens (Te Rarawa), a senior law lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington and co-editor of He Papakupu Reo Ture: A Dictionary of Maori Legal Terms (LexisNexis, Wellington, 2013). Māmari discussed her day-to-day life as an academic post-life as a solicitor at one of New Zealand’s preeminent national law firms, and a career in both the Department of Corrections and Māori broadcasting. Māmari emphasised that no roads are alike and highlighted that it is important to utelise your skills in a path that suits you.
Phoebe Monk (Ngāti Hikairo ki Kāwhia, Ngāti Maniapoto), former Co-President of Ngā Rangahautira (the VUW Maori Law Students Association), former VUW legal research scholar, and Research Counsel to the Māori Land Court judiciary provided an insight into the life of a recent graduate. Phoebe discussed the types of claims that come before the Māori Land Court on a daily basis, and the role of the Research Counsel to prepare legal analysis on a broad range of issues that impact whānau, hapū and iwi.
Atagai Esera, a VUW alumni and family law practitioner in Porirua provided an overview of life as a family lawyer interacting at the coal-face of her community. Atagai was raised in Porirua and discussed the balancing act between pragmatism and connecting with client stories to be an effective advocate in the Family Court.
In addition, we were fortunate to have several VUW alumni including Rama Chadwick (in-house legal counsel, Te Puki Kokiri), Nadine Warbrick (Solicitor, Hutt Valley Community Law Centre), Kathleen Wickliffe (Analyst, Ministry of Justice), Piri Norris (Analyst, Australian Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet) amongst others and a host of senior Māori law students from Victoria University of Wellington.
Poneke Representative, Te Hunga Roia Maori o Aotearoa