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Budding human rights lawyer wins Māori Issues Moot

Points of law arising from the 2017 Court of Appeal decision in Ngaronoa v Attorney-General, which challenged the decision to bar all prisoners from voting in parliamentary elections, set the scene for this year’s Māori Issues Moot, held earlier this month.

Nineteen students from Auckland Law School took part in debating whether the relevant provisions of the Electoral Act 1993 should have been interpreted in accordance with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi or Tikanga Māori.

Evaluated by nine judges and three moderators, the winner, who mooted in Te Reo Māori, was Part III law student Kahukiwi Piripi. The 24-year-old from Ahipara and Mitimiti, of Te Rarawa descent, plans to pursue a career in international human rights, specialising in indigenous rights.

The 24-year-old from Ahipara and Mitimiti, of Te Rarawa descent, plans to pursue a career in international human rights, specialising in indigenous rights.

Kahukiwi was awarded the Gina Rudland Prize for Māori Mooting, worth $500. Established in 2008, the prize honours the late Regina (Gina) Rudland of the Ngati Porou iwi, a leading commercial and Māori issues lawyer and a graduate of the University of Auckland. The prize recognises and rewards excellence in mooting on Māori issues.

The runners up, who both placed second equal, were Part IV law students Natanahira Herewini and Avary Patutama. Natanahira also mooted in Te Reo Maori.

Kahukiwi will represent the Auckland Law School at the National Māori Issues Moot Finals at Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aotearoa Hui-ā-Tau in Te Whanganui-ā-Tara Wellington.

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