February 18, 2014
Leading law educator Nin Tomas dies
Maori lawyers are among those mourning the death yesterday of Dr Nin Tomas after a long struggle with cancer.
Dr Tomas, from Te Rarawa and Nga Puhi, was appointed a lecturer at the Auckland University Law School in 1992 and taught a generation of lawyers there and at Waikato the fundamentals of Maori land law, treaty issues, public law and comparative international indigenous law.
She was the first Maori to graduate with a PhD in Law from the University of Auckland in 2006 with a thesis on Maori customary law.
It was presented the same day her son Inia graduated from Medical School.
Maori Land Court Judge Layne Harvey, a friend and colleague, says Dr Tomas was intensely proud of her Croatian whakapapa and of her tribes.
He says she put a lot of energy into Maori professional organisations and was a pivotal figure in the law school’s Maori Students Support Programme.
She is survived by her son Inia and her two mokopuna.
Nin Tomas is lying in state at Waipapa Marae at University of Auckland, and will be taken tomorrow to Te Rarawa Marae, in Pukepoto near Kaitaia.
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