Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aotearoa, the Māori Law Society, will introduce a membership fee and a new website in March.
The Society’s executive undertook two rounds of consultation last year about the fee proposal which will mean that practising lawyers and judges will be charged an annual $100 plus GST membership fee. Non-practising lawyers and Community Law practitioners will be charged $75 plus GST. Membership is free for Māori law students.
Liam Stoneley is the Society’s young lawyers’ representative, and a solicitor in Chapman Tripp’s Auckland corporate team.
“We were really pleased with the positive response we received to the two consultation processes run last year. The 2018 executive ratified the proposal and the changes will be introduced for the upcoming financial year,” he says.
What lawyers get for their membership fee …
In the past, becoming a member was a simple affair, requiring a law degree and proof of Māori descent.
But the Māori Law Society is now 30 years old and a membership fee is an essential next step. Mr Stoneley says the membership fee will provide a steady stream of income for the Society, which will ensure longevity and fuel for the growth of the kaupapa and services they provide to members.
Some of the new and enhanced benefits members can expect for their annual fee include:
- Reduced registration costs for the annual conference;
- Subsidised regional and national networking functions;
- Access to the members-only portal on the new website, which includes exclusive content and materials;
- Increased advocacy for members and the Society’s values, including on law reform;
- Access to the existing suite of services, such as the Ngā Wāhine Rōia Māori mentoring programme; and
- Voting and speaking rights at Māori Law Society hui and the AGM.
How to become a member
People will be able to pay their fees via the new website in March (due by 31 March) and get a unique membership number and log-in to the members only section. Existing members should keep an eye out for regular reminders over email and on social media to sign-up at māorilawsociety.co.nz.