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Five lawyers receive Queen's Birthday honours

06 June 2018

Nigel Hampton QC is among a group of legal professionals to be recognised for their work in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Mr Hampton has been made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the law, Rodger Haines has been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to refugee and human rights law, while legal researcher and writer Professor Elisabeth McDonald gains the title of Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to law and education. Alexandra lawyer Gordon Rayner has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to kayaking. Cambridge lawyer Jocelyn Cooney has been awarded the Queen's Service Medal for services to the community.

Nigel Hampton QC was previously appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1988.

Hampton
Nigel Hampton QC 

His promise was evident while at Canterbury University, winning the 1964 Canterbury District Law Society Gold Medal for top graduate.

As one of New Zealand’s leading defence lawyers he has been involved with some of the country’s most high profile and controversial criminal cases. More recently, he has played a leading role as counsel in relation to the Pike River Royal Commission and related litigation, and various inquiries into the collapse of the CTV building.

Two cases which helped make Mr Hampton’s name as a criminal barrister were a West Coast murder trial and a case against a Labour MP.

In the first case, Ronald David Bailey was charged with murdering his wife by drowning her in the Grey River. Bailey was acquitted.

Island Bay’s Labour MP Gerald O’Brien was charged in 1976 with indecencies on young males.

Mr Hampton acted for Mr O’Brien and at a depositions hearing, Mr Hampton persuaded the Magistrate that there was no case to answer.

He was Chief Justice of Tonga from 1995 until 1997. He is a judicial officer for World Rugby, SANZAAR and New Zealand Rugby.

Mr Hampton, who was appointed Queen’s Counsel in May 1989, became the first Disciplinary Commissioner of Counsel before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2007. In 2014 he was elected as an alternate member of the Disciplinary Appeals Board for ICC Counsel.

He currently chairs the Law Society’s National Standards Committee.

Rodger Haines QC was one of the original appointees to the newly-formed Refugee Status Appeal Authority in 1991 and remained a member until its disestablishment in 2010, serving as Deputy Chair from 1994 onwards.In a tribute on his retirement, international refugee law expert Professor James Hathaway said Mr Haines’ contribution to the development of refugee law had been “truly extraordinary” and Authority decisions he had authored had elicited the respect of senior courts in a number of jurisdictions.

From 1993 to 2012 he was Adjunct Lecturer in Law at the University of Auckland, teaching immigration and refugee law. In 2011 he was appointed Chair of the Human Rights Review Tribunal and in this role has tackled and honed nuanced human rights issues, which have directly affected the New Zealand litigants who appear before the Tribunal and more broadly as his scrutiny has been applied to domestic legislation.

For many years the Auckland barrister compiled and maintained the New Zealand Refugee Law website, a database of cases and materials relevant to refugee law and human rights law. Mr Haines was appointed Queen's Counsel in May 1999. He has also participated in a number of projects with the UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, including courses on refugee law and the Convention against Torture held in various countries.

Rodger Haines QC, Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to refugee and human rights law. Admitted in 1972, he was appointed Queen’s Counsel in May 1999.

Mr Haines was one of the original appointees to the newly-formed Refugee Status Appeal Authority in 1991 and remained a member until its disestablishment in 2010, serving as Deputy Chair from 1994 onwards.

Mr Haines was appointed Chair of the Human Rights Review Tribunal in 2011 and he continues in that role today. He was appointed Adjunct Lecturer in law at the University of Auckland from 1993 to 2012, teaching immigration and refugee law. He has also participated in a number of projects with the UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, including courses on refugee law and the Convention against Torture held in various countries.

Elisabeth McDonald is a legal researcher and writer with 28 years’ experience as a university lecturer and has made a significant contribution to the review and reform of evidence-based law in New Zealand.

Professor McDonald has held several teaching and administrative positions at Victoria University’s Law School and was appointed a Professor at the University of Canterbury’s Law School in 2016. In the late 1990s she contributed to the Law Commission’s Women’s Access to Justice Project and on reform of evidence law in New Zealand.

She has been highly influential in the development of feminist legal perspectives in New Zealand and was co-convenor of the Feminist Judgments Project Aotearoa, later co-editing the project’s book published last year. From 2009 to 2011 she researched new approaches to the prosecution and punishment of rape in New Zealand in collaboration with the Law Commission, which culminated in the publication of the 2011 book From “Real Rape” to Real Justice: Prosecuting Rape in New Zealand. The book influenced the Law Commission’s recommendation of new processes and is now considered the country’s most authoritative text on the subject.

Gordon Rayner is a director of Checketts McKay Law in Alexandra. He has been involved with kayaking for 45 years. Since the early 1990s Mr Gordon has represented kayakers at local authority hearings and tribunals to protect Central Otago rivers from development, damming, jet boats, and mining. He was a key driver in the development of the Hawea Whitewater Park near Wanaka in collaboration with Contact Energy. He was a founding member of Central Otago Whitewater in 1989 and from 2000 began coaching whitewater kayaking for youth in Alexandra and later other parts of Central Otago.

He also manages a beginner kayaking programme in Alexandra. He obtained grants, sponsorship and established fundraising opportunities enabling the club to purchase equipment and provide travel assistance for junior kayakers to attend national and international events.

Mr Rayner organises an annual whitewater camp on the Hawea river, introduces junior kayakers to grade three whitewater on a weekly basis during the summer, organises local slalom and freestyle events, and has helped organise seven national and secondary school slalom championships in the lower South Island. Mr Rayner has represented New Zealand at world championship level in slalom, freestyle and rafting, and is the current world masters slalom champion in his age group.

Jocelyn Cooney is a partner of Cooney Law in Cambridge. She has supported a range of community organisations in Cambridge using her professional legal expertise in Trustee and Honorary Solicitor voluntary roles.

Mrs Cooney is a current Trustee of the Cambridge Safer Community Trust and the Cambridge Autumn Fesitval, and was a Trustee of the Waipa Community Trust for nine years. She was part of the group that initiated the formation of the Cambridge Health and Community Trust and remained on that Trust for five years. She holds or has held the position of Honorary Solicitor for various Cambridge organisations including Parents Centre, Grey Power, Cambridge Creative Fibre, Cambridge Society of Arts, Rotary, Cambridge Community House, and Riding for the Disabled.

Mrs Cooney is a Patron of Cambridge Lyceum. She was the Cambridge Coroner from 1996 to 2007. She has been a member of the New Zealand Law Society Cost Revision Committee for the past 20 years. Mrs Cooney was a foundation Trustee for three years at Hautapu School in Cambridge and has been on the Board of Trustees of Salisbury School in Nelson for the past eight years.

Helen Murphy has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to prisoner welfare and rehabilitation.

Ms Murphy has dedicated many years to supporting prisoners on release into the community in both paid and voluntary capacities.

She currently serves on the board of the Howard League of Penal Reform and sits on the Community Justice Panel. She was Programme Administrator of The Sycamore Tree Programme from 2005 to 2012, a restorative justice programme involving the community and Rolleston Prison inmates. Since 2008 she has been employed by the Prisoners Aid and Rehabilitation Society (PARS) in Canterbury, where she is currently office manager and a community support worker.

Last updated on the 31st July 2018