One of New Zealand’s most distinguished jurists, Dr Colin Aikman, died in Wellington in December 2002.
Dr Aikman, who had an LLM from Victoria University and PhD from the London School of Economics, worked for the Department of External Affairs, the forerunner to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, between 1943 and 1955. He was Professor of jurisprudence and constitutional law at Victoria University of Wellington between 1955 and 1968 and dean of the law faculty for much of that period.
In 1968 Dr Aikman became the first vice-chancellor of the University of the South Pacific in Suva and was New Zealand’s High Commissioner to India and Bangladesh and Ambassador to Nepal from 1975-78.
He advised the Samoan Government on drafting Samoa’s constitution and was awarded Samoa’s highest decoration, the Order of Tiafau, in 1993.
In retirement he was a specialist adviser to Parliament’s Regulations Review Committee and a consultant to the Law Commission.
This obituary was first published in LawTalk 596, 3 February 2003, page 9.