Members and former members of the legal profession were among the New Zealanders who received honours in the New Year Honours List 2018.
Georgina Manunui te Heuheu QSO was appointed a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the State and Māori. Dame Georgina was the first Māori woman to receive a law degree. Serving five terms as a Member of Parliament until her retirement in 2011, she was a Cabinet Minister in the fourth and fifth National Governments, holding the portfolios for Courts, Pacific Island Affairs, Disarmament and Arms Control, and Women’s Affairs. She was Associate Minister of Treaty Negotiations, Health and Māori Affairs, with delegated responsibility for Māori Broadcasting. She was also a Member of the Waitangi Tribunal for 10 years.
Douglas John White QC was appointed a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the judiciary. Sir Douglas was admitted as a barrister and solicitor in 1969 and became a barrister sole in 1986 before his appointment as Queen's Counsel on 4 March 1988. He was appointed a Judge of the High Court of New Zealand on 24 August 2009 and was appointed to the Court of Appeal of New Zealand on 1 February 2012. He retired from the Court of Appeal in September 2015 and was appointed a Law Commission in February 2016 before being appointed Law Commission President in May 2016. On 1 February 2016 he was appointed as a Judge of the Court of Appeal of the Cook Islands.
Bryan George Williams CNZM, MBE was appointed a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to rugby. Sir Bryan graduated LLB from Auckland University in 1974 and practised in partnership in Auckland until 1989 when he went into sole practice. He played for the All Blacks from 1970 to 1978 and coached the Samoan national team in the 1990s. He established the Rugby Academy at Mount Albert Grammar School, and served as Director until 2012. He is a Trustee of the New Zealand Rugby Foundation.
Richard Boast QC was appointed a Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the law and Māori. He graduated with an MA from Waikato University and an LLM from Victoria University. He was admitted as a barrister and solicitor in 1979. Appointed Queen's Counsel in 2015, he is a Professor at Victoria University specialising in property law and Māori legal issues and legal history. He has also authored or co-authored various books and articles in the areas of natural resources law, New Zealand legal history and the law relating to the Treaty of Waitangi. Professor Boast has written more than 30 research reports for Waitangi Tribunal inquiries.
Virginia Mary Goldblatt was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to arbitration and mediation. She was a senior lecturer in Dispute Resolution at Massey University from 1998 to 2013 and was Director of the Massey University Dispute Resolution Centre from 2007 to 2012. She was a lead provider in a joint venture between Massey University and the New Zealand Law Society to develop and deliver mediation education for lawyers from 2010. Ms Goldblatt is a Fellow and Mediation Panel member of the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand and President of the New Zealand Chapter of the Australia and New Zealand Education Law Association.
Kerry James (Chester) Borrows was appointed a Companion of the Queen's Service Order for services as a Member of Parliament. After a career in the Police Mr Borrows became a barrister and solicitor in 2002. He was elected to Parliament in 2005 and retired in 2017. In 2011 he was appointed Minister for Courts and held the portfolio until 2014, alongside the associate portfolios of Justice and Social Development. Following the 2014 General Election he was elected to the role of Deputy Speaker of the House.
Richard Francis (Dick) Williams was awarded the Queen's Service Medal for services to the State. Mr Williams has held the role of Court Registrar across a range of courts, from city courts in Wellington and Hamilton to provincial courthouses in Westport and Tokoroa. He rose to the position of Assistant Secretary for Courts in 1989 with the Department of Justice. He has been Manager Applications Support with the Ministry of Justice’s Information Communication Technology Group since 2005.