On 27 February this year - what now seems like a world away - the New Zealand Law Society | Te Kāhui Ture o Aotearoa and Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aotearoa arrived at a historical milestone, over 30 years in the making. Representatives from each ropu came together, spent a day literally learning how to paddle a waka together, and then gathered at Te Papa to formalise our relationship with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
This MoU strengthens our existing relationship and formalises the spirit of mutual cooperation and trust between our two organisations. It acknowledges that we both have our roles to play and are independent of each other, but together can learn from and support each other. This is a positive and momentous step for the Law Society, and was something we wanted to share with the whole profession. All filming occurred prior to the lockdown, but we were able to edit and cut this video remotely to bring it to you. The messages of unity, true cultural partnership and learning to paddle a waka as one are even more relevant today – in our very different COVID-19 world – as they were on that day.
Noho tawhiti, tu kotahi. While we must stand apart right now, let it be united.
Tiana Epati, President
New Zealand Law Society | Te Kāhui Ture o Aotearoa