Jolene Patuawa-Tuilave, the co-president of Te Hunga Roia Maori o Aotearoa (THRMOA), the Maori Law Society, died of cancer on 24 June 2010.
Jolene, who served on the society’s executive for several years in a range of roles, was elected co-president in 2008.
Fellow co-president Damian Stone described her as a tireless and committed worker for THRMOA
“Without question, she played an instrumental role in the society evolving to what it has become today,” he said.
Jolene graduated from Otago University with an LLB/BA in 2000 and began private practice in Tauranga at Holland Beckett. She moved to Wellington in 2006 to work in the Maori Legal Group at Kensington Swan where she advanced to Senior Associate before returning to Tauranga in 2009 to be a partner at Jackson Reeves.
“In the short space of 10 years Jolene had a significant impact on Treaty jurisprudence and the recognition of Treaty rights,” Mr Stone said.
“She led claims in the Waitangi Tribunal with involvement in the Tauranga Raupatu, Central North Island, Tauranga Stage II, Northland, East Coast, Whanganui, National Park and Te Arawa settlement.”
Jolene also represented her iwi, Ngati Whatua, in their Treaty settlement negotiations with the Crown as well as Ngati Raukawa regarding the Waikato River negotiations.
“She will be remembered not only for her fearless spirit and strength, but also for her amazing sense of humour and overwhelm-ingly generous nature,” Mr Stone said.
She is survived by her husband Rob and their two children.
This article was published in LawTalk 754, 12 July 2010, page 7.