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Speaker of House returns to Waikato University

Media Release
September 24, 2008

Speaker of House returns to Waikato University

Speaker of the House Margaret Wilson will return to the University of Waikato in December, as Professor of Law and Public Policy.

Ms Wilson was the Foundation Dean and Professor of Law at Waikato University from 1990-99, when she entered parliament.

The former President of the Labour Party, Labour Minister, Attorney-General and current Speaker of the House of Representatives was born in Gisborne in 1947 and raised in the Waikato town of Morrinsville.

Ms Wilson, who studied law at Auckland University, was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Waikato in 2004. It recognised Ms Wilson’s outstanding contribution to the teaching of law and the development of a uniquely New Zealand legal system.

The university said at the time that it was to Ms Wilson’s lasting credit she faced up to the challenge of helping the law school grow from simply an idea, to establishing degree programmes, appointing staff, establishing a library, planning for buildings, and telling the public about the law school. It was the first law school to be established in New Zealand in 75 years.

University Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford said he was looking forward to welcoming Ms Wilson back to the organisation where she was highly respected for her work and for encouraging teaching and research collaborations across disciplines. “The on-going successes of our graduates are testimony to her hard work and the success of the School of Law,” Prof Crawford said.

Professor Nan Seuffert, the Acting Dean of the Law School, said Ms Wilson’s return was eagerly awaited. “Margaret Wilson is known for her work overseeing the introduction of the Supreme Court, the Relationship Property Act and the Employment Relations Act. She is a supportive colleague, extremely knowledgeable and will be an excellent source of wisdom for our students.” The selection process for a new law school dean takes place in coming weeks. Ms Wilson is not among the applicants.

Ms Wilson said she was looking forward to her professor’s role of teaching and research and the chance to share her experience with aspiring lawyers at the law school. “I am delighted to be returning to Waikato University and very much look forward to contributing to the work of the university.”


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