October 25, 2018
Epati brings fresh eyes to top law role
New Zealand Law Society members have voted for change with the election of a Gisborne-based Samoan woman as their president.
Tiana Epati is the fourth woman to hold the role and the youngest.
The daughter of Semikueiva Epati, New Zealand’s first Pasifika judge, and the wife of fellow lawyer Mātānuku Mahuika from Ngāti Porou, she has carved out her own path, including arguing for people’s cultural background to be taken into account by the criminal justice system.
She says she will bring a new perspective.
"I can bring not only my criminal experience as both a crown and defence lawyer but as a woman, a Pasifika woman, a lawyer, a mother of Māori children, someone who lives in a provincial area where the Māori population is very high, all of that I bring to the table," Ms Epati says.
She takes up the role in April.
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