May 2014 Māori Law Review

Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aotearoa update – Haratua 2014

World Indigenous Lawyers’ Conference and Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aotearoa hui a tau

Renika Siciliano, lead co-ordinator for Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aotearoa's hui a tau, outlines two upcoming events.

World Indigenous Lawyers’ Conference

The World Indigenous Legal Conference is being held at the Queensland University of Technology, Gardens Point, Brisbane from 25 to 27 June 2014.  The 2014 Conference follows on from the inaugural World Indigenous Lawyers’ Conference hosted by Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aotearoa in September 2012 in Hamilton.

This kaupapa started out as a means for all indigenous lawyers to discuss indigenous issues as a group, rather than in isolation.  For co-convenor, Aidan Warren (Director at McCaw Lewis Lawyers), the idea behind the Conference was “about giving our Māori lawyers an opportunity to understand similar legal issues that Māori people face in an international context, to listen and to learn about other ideas and experiences.”

The theme of this year’s Conference is “Past, Present and Future”.  A number of speakers from Aotearoa are confirmed on the programme including Linda Te Aho, Natalie Coates, Season-Mary Downs, Horiana Irwin-Easthope, Harata Paterson, Ngāi Tahu Māori Law Centre (Desiree Williams, Malcolm Lucas and Haines Ellison), Kiritapu Allan, Leluatea Iosefa and Michael Sharp.

Te Hunga Rōia Māori, and the Organising Committee for the inaugural Conference, encourages all Māori lawyers and legal minds to attend the Conference in Brisbane to continue to build on the relationships formed two years ago.   “I believe that our clients, hapū and iwi will continue to want the best advice.  With many iwi heading towards settlement and the corporate and cultural rebuild, it will be invaluable for our Māori law students, lawyers, judges and legal academics to learn from others around the world by a holding regular conference for “lawyers” on indigenous issues”, says Mr Warren.

Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aotearoa hui a tau

Te Hunga Rōia Māori is hosting its hui-ā-tau from 5 to 7 September 2014 in Tauranga.  The focus for this year’s hui-ā-tau is on building and developing our Māori lawyers across all areas of the law to ensure that we can grow as Māori and as a profession to assist our people going forward, says hui-ā-tau organiser, Renika Siciliano.  The theme of the Conference is “Māori lawyers in the 21st Century: survive and thrive individually and collectively”.

With the new requirements for Continuing Professional Development (“CPD”) in place from 1 April 2014, the hui-ā-tau will be a valuable source of education for Māori lawyers practising across a range of areas including family, criminal, commercial and Te Tiriti o Waitangi. The 2014 programme is being designed with practitioners in mind and hopes to build on the success and popularity of the last hui-ā-tau which was combined with the inaugural World Indigenous Lawyers’ Conference two years ago.  Students will continue to play an important role in the hui-ā-tau with specifically designed sessions for tauira as well.

Keynote sessions for the hui-ā-tau are expected to be confirmed by the end of May 2014 with registrations opening soon after.

For more information on these two important conferences, visit www.maorilawsociety.co.nz.

Author: Renika Siciliano