Tena koutou katoa,
2021 has been another challenging year for us all and as I write this editorial for our second co-edited LawTalk publication along side the New Zealand Law Society, I would like to mihi to all our extended whanau in the legal profession for what has been a challenging few weeks responding to the unexpected snap lockdown in August 2021. Kei kona kei a koutou nga whakairo.
Since our last edition, Te Hunga Roia Māori o Aotearoa were able to meet kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face) for our annual hui-a-tau hosted at Te Whare Wananga o Waitaha. After not being able to meet due to Covid-19 in 2020, our Executive worked hard to ensure this could take place so we as a roopu could come together, be reminded of our purpose, be challenged, learn and move forward together as we face yet another year of uncertainties and challenges. The theme of our hui was gifted by Matua Moana Jackson and was titled Lawyers as Mana Based Change Makers. Around 350 people attended a 3-day hui. Our participants spent their time getting to know each other through whakawhanaungatanga, listening to korero which focussed on our responsibility of Lawyers as Mana Based Change Makers and using the time to wananga on our future as a roopu. All those who attended left with their annual mauri boost, their kete of knowledge full and with excitement to face the year ahead.
Our theme for this year’s co-edited Kōrero Mō te Ture (LawTalk) magazine is grounded in the whakatauki:
❝ Ka mua ka muri ❞
Back to the future.
As we go forward, we have an eye on the past. This is particularly the case in our feature article on Mark and Diana Kopua. Mark and Diana are rangatira within our community. They are leading transformational change of collectives through-out Aotearoa. Their kaupapa, Mahi a Atua, is grounded in korero from our tipuna which can help reconnect us with knowledge that was lost during colonisation and help guide us as we become change makers within all aspects for our lives. Their experience of providing change in the health system has significant cross overs with the system challenges we face in the justice system. The knowledge that they share and the skills they help you develop are vital for anyone working in a system which struggles to truly serve who they are designed to work for. I was fortunate to attend their Mataora training in April 2021. It was a challenging week but one of the most rewarding experiences yet in my life. I thank Mark and Diana Kopua for being open and willing to share their experiences with the legal profession.
We are incredibly grateful to our members and our Māori community who have contributed to this issue. We wanted to showcase some of the mahi which is happening within our roopu as well as provide an insight into the influence and work that our community is currently doing that is having a positive impact on the legal profession. This mahi is also providing a pathway to reshape many systems we have in our country to ensure that they are truly fit for purpose as well as responds and cares for all of those they are designed to serve.
This edition features many of the incredibly talented members of our roopu. They are changemakers and leaders within our profession. We hope they inspire and challenge you as you continue to work and serve our communities.