New Zealand Law Society - Four Waitangi Tribunal members reappointed

Four Waitangi Tribunal members reappointed

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Four members of the Waitangi Tribunal have been reappointed for terms of varying lengths.

Chief Judge Wilson Isaac has been reappointed for a further five-year term as the Chairperson. Judge Isaac was appointed to the Māori Land Court on 11 March 1994. In 1999, he was appointed Deputy Chief Judge and on 13 August 2008, he was appointed Chief Judge. In 2009 he was appointed as Chairperson of the Waitangi Tribunal.

Sir Sidney (Hirini) Moko Mead has been reappointed as a Mātauranga and Tikanga Māori member of the Tribunal for a further two-year term. He was first appointed in 2003 and his warrant expired in December 2017.

Sir Sidney was the founding Professor of Māori at Victoria University of Wellington and created the first department of Māori studies in Aotearoa New Zealand. He was responsible for building the first university-based marae on a mainstream campus – Te Herenga Waka Marae in Wellington.

After retiring from Victoria University he established Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi at Whakatāne. He has a history of involvement in the area of Māori development, particularly in the fields of education, intellectual and cultural property rights and Treaty of Waitangi claims. He was the Chief Negotiator for the Ngāti Awa claims which were settled in March 2005. A final part of the settlement was the opening of Mataatua Wharenui in September 2011 in Whakatāne.

Professor Rawinia Higgins has been reappointed as an historian member of the Tribunal for a further three years. She was first appointed in 2013 and her warrant expired on 1 January 2018.

Professor Higgins is currently the Professor of Te Kawa a Māui, School of Māori Studies and Assistant Vice Chancellor Māori Research at Victoria University of Wellington. She is the Co-Principal Investigator of Te Kura Roa a three-year Māori language research initiative examining both state and community responses to Māori language revitalisation efforts in Aotearoa New Zealand. She was also the Chair of the Māori Language Advisory Group set up to provide independent advice on the Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill. She also leads the Whaihua – Community Responsiveness project in collaboration with Te Ataarangi and Te Kōhanga Reo. Professor Rawinia Higgins is a board member of Te Māngai Pāho.

Dr Grant Phillipson has been reappointed as an historian member of the Tribunal for a further two-year term. He was first appointed in 2011 and his warrant expired on 13 April 2018.

Dr Grant Phillipson is currently a member of the Porirua ki Manawatū District inquiry panel and the National Freshwater and Geothermal Resources panel. He is a professional historian with a PhD in history from the University of Otago