Senior lawyers are recognised for their services to the New Zealand community
The following seven lawyers and former lawyers have been honoured:
- Georgina Manunui te Heuheu QSO was appointed a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the State and Māori. She was appointed Companion of the Queen’s Service Order in 1993 before becoming a Member of Parliament, serving five terms until retiring in 2011 and assuming the role of chair of Māori Television, a position she has held since 2012. She was also a cabinet minister in the fourth and fifth national governments, holding the portfolios of courts, Pacific Island affairs, disarmament and arms control, and women’s affairs. She was associate minister of Treaty Negotiations, Health and Māori Affairs, with delegated responsibility for Māori Broadcasting. She was also a member of the Waitangi Tribunal for 10 years.
- Douglas John White QC was appointed a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the judiciary. Sir Douglas was a judge of the Court of Appeal from 2012 until he retired in 2015. He was was previously a High Court judge from 2009, after having practised as a Queen’s Counsel from 1988. He was admitted as a barrister and solicitor in 1969 and became a barrister sole in 1986. He was counsel to the New Zealand Law Society in respect of the Law Practitioners’ Act reform and Lawyers and Conveyancers’ Act 2006. He also conducted inquiries for the State Services Commissioner into the New Zealand Defence Force and Civil Aviation Authority, as well as an inquiry for the prime minister into Te Whanau o Waipareira Trust. From 2005 to 2007 he was the legal advisor to Dame Margaret Bazley in relation to the Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct. White was appointed President of the Law Commission in 2016.
- Bryan George Williams CNZM, MBE was appointed a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to rugby. He earned his LLB from Auckland University in 1974. He was a member of a partnership until until 1989, when he went into sole practice, according to the New Zealand Law Society. The former All Blacks member and Samoan national team coach established the Rugby Academy at Mount Albert Grammar School.
- Richard Boast QC was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the law and Māori. He has contributed to the fields of history, Māori land law, and property law since the late 1970s. He earned an MA from Waikato University and an LLM from Victoria University and was admitted as a barrister and solicitor in 1979. The Victoria University professor took silk and 2016 and has authored more than 30 research reports for Waitangi Tribunal inquiries. He has also been counsel for a number of iwi in Waitangi Tribunal inquiries.
- Virginia Mary Goldblatt was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to arbitration and mediation. She has been a has been a leader in the field of conflict resolution, alternative dispute resolution and mediation in New Zealand for many years.From 1998 to 2013, she was a senior lecturer in dispute resolution at Massey University. She was also director of the Massey University Dispute Resolution Centre from 2007 to 2012. According to the Law Society, she was a lead provider in a joint venture between the university and the Law Society to develop and deliver mediation education for lawyers, which started in 2010. She is a fellow and mediation panel member of the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand and president of the New Zealand Chapter of the Australia and New Zealand Education Law Association.
- The Honourable Kerry James (Chester) Borrows was appointed a Companion of the Queen's Service Order for services as a Member of Parliament. He was first elected to Parliament as the Member for the Whanganui electorate in 2005 and held the seat until stepping down from politics in 2017. He was in the police force until he became a barrister and solicitor in 2002, according to the Law Society. He also held the portfolios of courts, justice and social development when he was appointed a minister in 2011. He was elected Deputy Speaker of the House in 2014.
- Richard Francis (Dick) Williams was awarded the Queen's Service Medal for services to the State. He has supported the work of the courts in various operational and management roles throughout his career, including being the court registrar in various courts from Wellington and Hamilton to Westport and Tokoroa. He became the assistant secretary for courts in 1989 and has been an applications support manager of Ministry of Justice’s Information Communication Technology Group since 2005.
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