New Zealand Law Society - Wide-ranging role keeps lawyer on his toes

Wide-ranging role keeps lawyer on his toes

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Te Puni Kōkiri solicitor Rama Chadwick relishes working alongside people who are passionate about developing and advancing Māori issues.

Mr Chadwick graduated with an LLB from Victoria University in 2009 and was admitted in the same year.

His role as an in-house solicitor for Te Puni Kōkiri involves providing legal advice on law reform, policy and programme initiatives that contribute to the organisation’s role: to work within the public sector and Māori communities, supporting Māori success and wellbeing at home and globally.

Mr Chadwick says his wide-ranging role keeps him on his toes, as he’s constantly learning. “The issues we work on are so varied because we are dealing with people and a culture, so the work can go in any direction covering a vast array of the law. Although my role comprises numerous separate responsibilities, I am encouraged by the bigger picture of having a small part in supporting Māori success,” he says.

As a government lawyer and public servant, Mr Chadwick says he has a duty to serve the Crown’s interests.

“Simultaneously a key theme in the work of Te Puni Kōkiri is to strengthen Treaty of Waitangi partnerships.

“Finding a balance between these imperatives creates an environment of good faith, progression, and support for iwi, hapū and whānau. Legal issues involving Māori have a tendency to provoke varied and passionate opinions in New Zealand, and the work can mirror this environment at times.

“I would say that this all lends itself to work that is solution focused, partnership focused, and ultimately people focused,” he says.

As for the future, Mr Chadwick says he has a range of interests that he would like to pursue.

“Post graduate studies, exploring private practice, and continued work with Māori are all likely. However, I remain open to any and all opportunities life provides me with,” he says.

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