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First Ever Pacific Island Judge

14 February 2002

National MP Arthur Anae has congratulated Judge A'e'au Semi Epati, New Zealand's first ever Pacific Island Judge, describing it as a "major milestone" for the Pacific Island community.

"The appointment of Judge Epati, who is also a Samoan High Chief, to the Manakau District Court is a proud moment for him and his family. It has taken years of hard work to achive this honour.

"Judge Epati's community involvement, his respect amongst Pacific nations and his experience in working in New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga, and Niue will stand in him good stead. His cultural understanding will be a big advantage."

"I expect Judge Epati will be the first of many Pacific Islanders to achieve this distinction," said Mr Anae.

Mr Anae says this one of three major milestones for Pacific Island communities this week - on Tuesday Parliament's Pacific Room will be formally opened, and a meeting of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association's Pacific Region group will take place in Wellington.

Ends

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