Judge to graduate
8 October, 2013
Judge to graduate
Stephen Clark graduates today with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in te reo Māori.
Today ( October 8) Stephen Clark graduates with a Bachelor of Arts that he began 30 years ago.
What started as a BA majoring in English in 1983, has now become a BA, majoring in te reo Māori.
Stephen, who is a Māori Land Court Judge, an alternate Judge of the Environment Court and a member of the Waitangi Tribunal, says there were many factors that delayed completion of his BA.
“First I moved to Auckland to study law in 1985, which took three years, followed by study for the Professionals course. Then I started working as a lawyer in 1988 initially in Auckland and then for 18 years in Hamilton. The demands of a busy legal career and a young family have meant study had to fit in around other aspects of my life, but I’m very happy to be finishing this degree now.”
Based in Hamilton, Stephen is a former Melville High School student. He graduated with an LLB from the University of Auckland in 1988 and was admitted to the Bar in the same year. Stephen also received a Graduate Diploma in Dispute Resolution from the University of Waikato in 2007.
Of Ngāti Maniapoto and Ngāti Hāua descent, Stephen says there were three main reasons that drove him to complete the BA.
“It was important to me to finish what I started. Also, speaking te reo Māori is encouraged in my line of work. Most importantly I really wanted to support my son and daughter who both attended kōhanga reo, and currently attend Tōku Māpihi Maurea Kura Kaupapa Māori.
During the time he has been studying at Waikato, Stephen has seen big changes both in the physical environment at university and the way in which students study.
“When I first started studying, the resources we used were books, pens and paper, whereas now everyone has a laptop or iPad, all assignments are typed, lecture notes are available on Moodle, the internet is regularly cited and presentations are made with the assistance of PowerPoint.
Stephen will graduate on Tuesday, 8 October at Te Kohinga Mārama Marae at the University of Waikato.