April 20, 2021
Empathy and experience in new judge’s toolkit
Aotearoa's first district court judge to wear a moko kauae says she hopes to bring a Māori lens to the job.
Ophir Cassidy was sworn in on Saturday at a special sitting of the Manukau District Court at her old school, Te Kura Māori o Ngā Tapuwae in Māngere.
She says her experience as an advocate and lawyer make her a good fit for the new role.
"I'm still having to apply the laws but also bringing my cultural lens, my experience, my empathy and understanding and knowledge I have of our people and also the history and kōrero of Aotearoa and how that has impacted on Māori," she says.
Judge Cassidy will serve at the Waitākere District Court as a Youth Court judge, including rangatahi court sittings at Hoani Waititi and Ōrākei Marae.
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