Auckland University of Technology makes history with NZ’s first Māori law dean

The choice is the “biggest shakeup" to legal ed in 50 years

Auckland University of Technology makes history with NZ’s first Māori law dean

Auckland University of Technology (AUT) has made history by electing New Zealand’s first Māori Manukura Ture/Dean of the School of Law.

Khylee Quince kicks off her five-year term in the role with immediate effect. She called her appointment, which concluded a global search for the ideal candidate, the “biggest shakeup to legal education in Aotearoa for 50 years.”

As an associate professor with AUT, Quince has taught on criminal law and justice, youth justice and Māori legal issues; moreover, she has conducted research on crime policy, law and legal studies, human rights and justice issues.

According to AUT Vice-Chancellor Derek McCormack, the university’s law school is expected to flourish with Quince at the helm.

“AUT’s School of Law has grown from strength to strength and our new dean, Associate Professor Quince, is uniquely positioned to continue and grow our kaupapa of great graduates and contributing to Aotearoa,” McCormack said.

As the new law dean, Quince will concentrate on delivering on the school’s vision of delivering “excellent practical legal education and research directed to social justice and community impact.”

“This year, the Council of Legal Education – the body tasked with accrediting law degrees – resolved to amend their regulations to require all law schools to teach and assess concepts of tikanga and te reo Māori in all seven core courses. This is both exciting and challenging for legal educators and I look forward to working with colleagues to navigate and lead these changes,” she said.

Quince is also aiming to build further on AUT’s law programme in South Auckland, where 20% of its law students are located. Among her goals is to tackle the difficulties of students experiencing high deprivation.

Dean of the Faculty of Business, Economics and Law Professor Kate Kearins said that Quince “epitomises what it is to be a contemporary, forward-thinking university.” Kearins praised Quince’s inclusive approach, as well as her dedication to the teaching and study of law “for the betterment of society.”

“The te reo Māori name for AUT is Te Wānanga Aronui and references the story of Tānenuiarangi ascending to the heavens to retrieve the three baskets of knowledge,” Quince explained. “Te Kete Aronui is the basket of knowledge that will benefit the earth and all living in it – the fruits of Te Kete Aronui are skills and capabilities for all, for our planet and for future generations.”

AUT is the sole university to set up a campus in the South Auckland region.

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