Feb 11, 2011

Whata J (updated)

I think this story needs to be highlighted. From TangataWhenua.com;
Auckland lawyer Christian Nathanial Whata who affliate to Ngati Pikiao has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson announced today.
Whata graduated with a BA and LLB ( Hons ) from Auckland University in 1992. After spending time as a solicitor at Simpson Grierson and Kensington Swan, he went to Cambridge University where he obtained an LLM (First Class).
On his return to New Zealand he joined Russell McVeagh and became a partner in 2001.

What a proud day for his whanau and hapu Ngati Pikiao. Christian is clearly extremely talented and his appointment appears well deserved. As far as I know Christian becomes the third Maori appointed as a Justice of The High Court, Eddie Durie been the first and Joe Williams the second. Well done.

UPDATE: Chris Webster in the comments section has pointed out that I have omitted the Honourable Justice Lowell Goddard. Goddard J is a distinguished member of The High Court bench and whakapapas to Tuhoe, Ngati Kahungungu and Ngati Te Upokoiri. 


  1. Morgan:
    Whilst taking nothing away from Christian Whata's worthy appointment - well earned - congratulations)

    You have perhaps overlooked Justice Lowell Goddard - who was appointed to the HC Bench in 1995 . Her bio follows:

    The Honourable Justice Goddard

    Justice Lowell Goddard graduated LLB from the University of Auckland in 1974 and was admitted to the Bar in 1975. In 1977 she commenced practice as a barrister and was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1988. In 1992 she was appointed Deputy Solicitor-General for New Zealand and in that role undertook responsibility for the prosecution of all indictable crime in New Zealand. She was appointed to the High Court bench in December 1995 and is based in Wellington. She is currently appointed as the Chair of the Independent Police Conduct Authority.

    And thanks for posting this congratulations.

  2. Kia ora Chris,

    I was unaware of Justice Goddards' whakapapa. Thanks for bringing her to my attention.

  3. She's from Kahungunu



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