January 22, 2020
More Maori judges better for courts
A Māori lawyer says the elevation of 11 of his peers to the district court bench is a great sign.
The new judges include Hamilton and Whangarei coroners Gordon Matenga and Brandt Shortland and former Safe and Effective Justice Advisory Group member Quentin Hix.
Kingi Snelgar says it shows the impact new Chief District Court Judge Hemi Taumaunu is having on the court.
"Māori are over-represented in our justice system and in our family court system so having more Māori faces sitting there is going to put our whānau at ease and make for better decisions because some of the judges there (now) may not have the ability to relate to the reality of our whānau and our customs as well," he says.
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