New Zealand Law Society - Pacific Lawyers to hold first NZ conference

Pacific Lawyers to hold first NZ conference

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The Pacific Lawyers Association (PLA) has announced that its inaugural conference will be held from 21 to 23 November at AUT's South Campus in Auckland.

“This conference is an exciting opportunity to bring together our Pacific law colleagues, students and those working in legal advisory roles to connect, learn and be inspired by experienced practitioners - many of whom are Pacific and well respected in the legal profession,” says PLA President Tania Sharkey.

Headline speakers include Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, New Zealand Law Society President Tiana Epati and Sir Anand Satyanand, former Governor-General who has been appointed to lead the Royal Commission into the Historical Abuse in State Institutions and Faith-based Institutions.

"The theme 'It’s Island Time' is a statement that now it really is our time," says Ms Sharkey.

“With Pacific Youth (0-14 years) now forming the major ethnic group in New Zealand -  we’re taking proactive steps to nurture and attract more Pacific students into the profession. This is about growing the capacity and network of Pacific lawyers.” 

“Our conference is open to all.  It is also a celebration of the diversity and contribution that our Pacific workforce brings to the New Zealand legal profession and a vehicle for increasing our visibility and our thought leadership,” she says.

“We are extremely thankful to the Borrin Foundation and AUT for their generous support to help make this event possible.”

The three-day conference will kick off with an outreach and careers programme to engage with high school students and university students from across New Zealand.  Parents are also invited to an evening careers expo where they will hear first-hand about the law profession from Her Honour Judge Ida Malosi, the first Pacific Island woman to be appointed a judge.  

The remaining two days of the conference is designed for Pacific lawyers to soak up  knowledge and insights from experts across the legal profession, government and health sectors including James Farmer QC, Stuart Grieve QC, Margaret Casey QC, Lemalu Hermann Retzlaff, ‘Aminiasi Kefu, Peter Fuiava, Dr Julia Ioane, Fonoti Seti Talamaivao, Sisilia Eteuati and Moana Research.

Further information about the conference is available at

Image of PLA Island Time