It was a huge privilege to be elected as the 33rd President of the Law Society in November. I want to thank my colleagues for the trust and confidence you have in me to lead our profession through our next phase. It isn’t a role defined by one person – it is a role which brings together the entire profession and represents them and their interests. As we approach the end of 2022, it is a time to reflect on the year we have had as well as look to the future and what opportunities lie ahead of us.
It has been a busy year for practitioners right across the motu who have come out the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic to working back in the office, dealing with the ‘new normal’ and processing some of the many challenges we are collectively facing. I want to thank you all for your hard work and efforts throughout the year. Whether it is supporting clients through the courts, or outside of them, or working with your firms or companies to develop a more modern and inclusive practising environment, every one of you has played their part navigating our collective challenges and turning them into opportunities.
No doubt this summer will be a welcome break for you to spend time with your loved ones and replenish your energy levels ahead of next year.
Looking towards 2023, there is still much for us to do. The Independent Review Panel will deliver their final recommendations on 1 March following extensive consultation with the profession and key stakeholders. Your contribution as colleagues to this process has been invaluable. It has been a substantial piece of work and I want to acknowledge Professor Ron Paterson, Jane Meares and Professor Jacinta Ruru for their thoughtful and invaluable contributions. We expect that the Panel’s proposals will offer us the chance to improve the way we regulate and provide services, and we anticipate publicly releasing the report in the first quarter of 2023. I look forward to working alongside you to implement the changes we need to make us a fit-for-now and fit-for-the-future regulator and profession.
In closing, I wish you, your families and your communities a safe and relaxing holiday period. Like many, for me the holiday period will be about family, both immediate and extended. Beyond that, I look forward to taking time out in nature by biking, hiking and enjoying the incredible land and seascapes we are lucky enough to call our backyard. It is with optimism that I look toward 2023. We can meet the challenges ahead and progress our profession into one we are all proud of.
Nāu te rourou nāku te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi
Ngā mihi o te wā kirihimete.
Law Society President