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Mahuta: Swearing in of Tinimiraka Clark [10/8/18]

10 August 2018

Swearing in Ceremony

Hon Nanaia Mahuta

Māori Development

Swearing in of Tinimiraka Clark

• I mihi to everyone gathered today to acknowledge and commend our whanaunga, our colleague and our friend – Tinimiraka Clark.

• E te uri o Ngāti Tīpa, Ngāti Tahinga, Ngāti Āmaru, nei au ka mihi.

• Thank you to those who spoke so eloquently about Tinimiraka’s work.

• Sharing insights into her work supporting Māori Crown prosecutors and her practice and work in Kirikiriroa.

• Thank you for the invitation to be part of this ceremony today and for the opportunity to kōrero with you all.

• Judge Clark - Today we celebrate the culmination of 20 years of legal experience to today’s achievement.

• In today’s achievement we also acknowledge your whānau, your mentors and colleagues who have been with you along the way.

Importance of advancement of Māori women in law

• I think also of the Māori women who have been the guiding lights in the judiciary.

• The Honourable Justice Lowell Goddard who was appointed in 1995 to the High Court of New Zealand.

• An historical moment, as she was the first Māori woman appointed as a Justice of the High Court. She went on to be the first woman appointed a Queen’s Counsel.

• Her Honour Denise Clark, tēnā koe e te Tiāti, was the first Māori woman to be appointed to the District Court judge.

• It was the first time a judge had been admitted to the bench in a ceremony held on a marae, Tamatekapua marae at Ohinemutu.

• Another first, her Honour Judge Caren Fox was appointed to the Māori Land Court in 2000 and in 2010 was appointed as Deputy Chief Judge.

• I reflect on these wāhine toa and many others who provide examples for our rangatahi and taiohi to look to for encouraging and seeing it is possible.

• I note these women, their achievements as those who pave the way, knowing the journey is not always straight forward or easy.

• Making the not yet possible for those to follow. Particularly for our young wāhine, such that they know they too can achieve great things.

• Something I know that Māori legal professions have been discussing for many years.

• Such that Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aotearoa earlier this year launched Ngā Wāhine Rōia Māori at Parliament.

• Ngā Wāhine Rōia Māori formalises a mentoring programme championing the advancement of Māori women members of the Law Society.

• Why do I believe this important?

• To me wahine Māori are at the heart of whānau and at the heart of whānau development.

• In the Māori language sphere I have already appointed two women into major roles in the Board that will influence the future of te reo.

• Professor Rawinia Higgins has been appointed chair of te Taura Whiri i te reo and Charisma Rangipunga has been appointed Deputy chair.

• These appointment are crucial for promoting te reo Māori and encouraging wahine ma to aim high – we can all achieve our dreams.

• Rangatahi and taiohi are our future, our future leaders, we can tell them it’s possible, we can encourage them.

• However, until they see it, feel it and know it, for them it’s not possible.

• Today, Judge Clark, you made it possible for you and the others to follow you.

Diversity within the judiciary

As a woman and as a Māori woman in politics, I often reflect on the diversity of our communities being reflected in our workforce.

• Being a Māori woman shapes my perspective and experience in the world.

• Men and women, Māori and Pākehā are different. These differences are to be celebrated and embraced.

• As does the diversity of Aotearoa New Zealand.

To have this diversity reflected in the judiciary lends to an enhanced service – we learn from each other’s tikanga, reo, culture, experiences and working styles.

I see in 2017 three law firms for example that were among the 44 companies who have voluntarily committed to a diversity reporting framework.

These companies committed to raising the value of diversity and inclusiveness in throughout their operations.

And further that they would report on their progress.

I close with the kōrero of one of my mentors – te puāwaitanga o ngā moemoeā, me whakamahi.

Let’s work together to dreams into reality. Princess Te Puea.

ENDS


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