Source: New Zealand Government
Headline: Swearing in Ceremony
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.
MIL OSI New Zealand –