Rotorua barrister Kiri Tahana, Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Makino and Tapuika (Te Arawa) has been appointed High Court judge, Attorney General David Parker announced today.
Justice Tahana has extensive experience in commercial, corporate (including regulatory and competition) and litigation law, as well as considerable expertise in advising on matters relating to te Tiriti o Waitangi.
She obtained an LLB (Hons) and BA (Maori and Political Science) from Victoria University of Wellington in 1995 and began practicing the following year as a solicitor with Bell Gully in Wellington. There she worked on Maori legal issues, including disputes over the distribution of Maori fishing settlement assets.
In 1999 Judge Tahana spent a year at Walters Williams & Co before spending seven years at Gilbert & Tobin in Sydney, interspersed with a year in London at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and two years as senior legal counsel at the Trade Commission.
This was followed by five years as Senior Director, Legal Counsel at Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company PJSC (du) in the United Arab Emirates.
In 2017, Justice Tahana joined the Kāhui Legal partnership in Rotorua, becoming Managing Partner in 2019. She has worked closely with Maori land entities, post-settlement governance entities and Maori businesses on a range of issues Legal, including new businesses, governance, structuring, commercial contracts, trusts, land and Maori litigation.
Judge Tahana is also President of the Rotorua Chamber of Commerce.
It will sit in Auckland.
(With contributions from the New Zealand government press release)