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Warwick Flaus, 1949 - 1989

By Craig Thompson

Warwick Flaus died on 7 January 1989 after an illness extending over 18 months. At the age of 39 he had much still to contribute to the law, society and his family. He cared deeply about all three.

He held the degrees of BA and LLB(Hons) from Victoria University and was admitted to the Bar in 1973. Until 1985 he worked for Martin Evans-Scott and Hurley, now merged into Brandon Brookfield.

After post-graduate study in Canada he was appointed a Crown Counsel in the Crown Law Office in December 1977. In his 11 years of practice as a Crown Counsel he developed as a formidable advocate in the field of public law; the Law Reports record the application of an astute mind to administrative law and appellate crime in particular.

In August 1975 he was appointed, in addition to his Crown Counsel duties, to be Crown Solicitor for Nelson.

He applied his astuteness of mind and energies to social issues also; racial prejudice and the oppression of the rights of the individual were the particular targets of his fearless and often outspoken opposition.

The premature death of such a man is especially tragic for his wife Janet and daughter Amelia who have lost a devoted husband and father. To those who worked closely with him his wisdom, warmth and wit are sorely missed.

The profession has lost a colleague whose abilities and potential will, sadly, never be fully realised.

This was first published on page 5 of the February 1989 issue of Council Brief, the monthly newsletter of the Wellington District Law Society.

The following extract from Dancing on Our Bones by Trevor Richards is worth quoting:

“I also developed a friendship with Warwick Flaus, another Rotorua Boys’ High School old boy, who was studying law at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. On his return to New Zealand, Warwick got a job with Crown Law. Anyone going through HART’s records will find few references to Flaus. A WB Cox, however, crops up frequently. Working in Crown Law in the late 1970s while at the same time assuming a high-profile position in HART was regarded by both Warwick and the HART leadership as foolhardy. Enter WB Cox.” [Page 181]

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Last updated on the 27th June 2017