December 07, 2020
Student law society set up to counter redneck colleagues
Te Rākau Ture, the University of Auckland Māori Law Students Association, has celebrated 30 years of supporting aspiring Māori lawyers.
Master of ceremonies Tavake Afeaki says the weekend event at Waipapa Marae and the Sorrento cabaret was packed with former tauira who have gone on to expand Māori influence in the profession.
He says the organisation formed as a support group for Māori struggling with what was at the time a hostile environment.
"It was at once proactive about that support but also reactive to some of the redneck racism we had encountered from other students and from society at large, so we have thrived over the years and we were looking to share some of that kōrero," Mr Afeake says.
Alumna Annette Sykes gave the Nin Thomas Memorial Lecture, reminding her fellow lawyers of their obligations to Māori and questioning current efforts to incorporate tikanga into law.
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