New Zealand Law Society - Choosing the right track

Choosing the right track

This article is over 3 years old. More recent information on this subject may exist.

I’m a family lawyer and I’ve hired a train. Sometimes I have to say it out loud just to believe it’s true (the train, not the family lawyer bit). But yes – on 14 October – we’ll be heading to Dunedin with a cargo of legal professionals.

The idea of chartering a train came from discussing how we’d transport our six lawyers to Dunedin for the Family Law Conference in October. A raft of ideas were considered: a van? (too cramped); the bus? (too public); flying? (too stressful). It was Jarrod Coburn, our CEO, who suggested we hire the Silver Fern railcar.

It turns out Jarrod has an interesting history: Station Master at Ohakune, member of the group re-building the Rimutaka Incline and Catering Manager of two major rail excursions – one carrying more than 600 passengers! He’s promised a delightful trip.

It was a surprisingly easy to book, involving one phone call to Otago’s Taieri Gorge Railway. They quoted a price and organised everything from the on-board staff to the liquor licence. All we needed to do was to find 70 others to come with us!

Taking the train is now considered a luxury but it wasn’t long ago when Aotearoa was heavily reliant on rail transport. Long before the ribbons of tar seal crisscrossed the land we had thousands of kilometres of railway leading to almost every small town in the country.

Many will remember some of New Zealand’s wonderful passenger trains: the ‘Blue Streak’ between Wellington and Auckland; the ‘Cabbage Train’ – so named because it carried produce from Marlborough to Christchurch, with a passenger carriage tacked on to the end; the ‘Endeavour’ train to Gisborne (one of the most beautiful rail journeys in New Zealand). We’re going to make the Family Law Express another journey to remember.

I’m anticipating arriving at the conference having spent a fun morning with my professional colleagues. It’ll be a real treat to travel somewhere without having to go through a security check!

The Family Law Express departs Christchurch at 6:50am on Wednesday 14 October 2015 and arrives in time for the pre-conference workshops. Fare includes transfers to conference venue or accommodation. Visit for information or email to book.

Erin Ebborn is the director of Ebborn Law Limited, which specialises in family law work.

Lawyer Listing for Bots