April 05, 2015
Mourning for quiet reformer Judge Mick Brown
Judge Mick Brown died in Auckland hospital on Thursday aged 77.
He became the first Maori judge of the District Court in 1980, sitting in Henderson where he experimented with community input into the justice system.
That made him a logical choice to become the first principal judge of the Youth Court, which was set up with the passing ot the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act in 1989.
While it was the aim of the legislation to create a non-adversarial system for youth justice, colleagues credit Judge Brown with making the system work and doing it in a way that won widespread public support.
The new family group conferences meant family and community became involved in holding young offenders to account.
He was also an advocate for the development of a bicultural society where Maori aspirations were addressed.
Judge Brown served as Chancellor and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Maori) of the University of Auckland, and also served on a range of trusts including the Auckland Cricket Association, the Child Development Foundation and the Alcohol and Liquor Advisory Council.
He attributed much of his philosophy to growing up in foster care after his mother died of tuberculosis when he was a year and a day.
Jusge Brown’s tangi is at Te Mahurehure Marae in Pt Chevalier.
A service celebrating his life will be held at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Khyber Pass Rd, at 11am Tuesday followed by a burial at Waikumete Cemetery.
Copyright © 2015, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com