The New Zealand Law Society has had its Gender Equality Charter translated into Te Reo Māori, after a request from a law firm.
The Charter was released to the law profession in April this year and so far 71 legal workplaces have become signatories.
One of the most recent law firms to commit to the principles of the Charter is Kahui Legal which was established in 2003, it says, to provide legal services that advance the Māori economy and the future wellbeing of Māori.
Based in Wellington, the firm practises in a wide range of legal areas including Treaty of Waitangi issues, commercial, natural resources, governance, litigation, Māori land, public law and Government.
Kahui legal recently signed a partnership with Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, also known as the Māori Language Commission.
One of the four partners of the firm, Matanuku Mahuika, says that agreement was about promoting the use of the Māori language in the workplace, and it made sense to have the Charter translated in Māori, to support that initiative.
”We requested that the Gender Equality Charter also be written in Māori because that was consistent with our commitment to the Māori language. Gender equality is something our firm strongly supports as part of celebrating diversity within the legal profession. However, gender is one aspect of diversity. Race and ethnic background are also part of diversity. Having the charter also written in Māori, gives some prominence to those other aspects of diversity that the legal profession should also be celebrating.”
“Māori is also one of the official languages of New Zealand and consistent with the type of work that we do and the values that the firm seeks to promote. We think it’s important that official documents such as the Gender Equality Charter recognise that,” Matanuku Mahuika says.
The Gender Equality Charter - Tūtohinga Ira Tangata Ōrite is a set of commitments aimed at improving the retention and advancement of women lawyers.
These include tackling unconscious bias, encouraging flexible working arrangements, closing the gender pay gap and promoting equitable instructions.
Signatories agree to meet these commitments over a two-year period and report on progress to the New Zealand Law Society. Free online tools and resources are available to assist charter signatories with their work.
To sign up to the charter, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: sign me up.