Her advocacy includes the benefits of a Māori perspective within the legal system
The Minister for Māori Development Hon. Willie Jackson has announced the appointment of Alana Thomas, Ngāpuhi, as a judge of Te Kooti Whenua Māori - the Māori Land Court.
Jackson said in a press release that Thomas is a champion for the benefits of a Māori perspective within the legal system. “If we think of someone who is strong, is fighting for Māori issues in law, who is passionate about Māori culture, who is committed to Māori language, there's no doubt that's her.”
Thomas has a broad depth of experience in practicing law and is currently the director of her firm. She has been predominantly involved in Māori legal issues representing clients in the Māori Land Court and Māori Appellate Court. She has also represented a number of iwi, hapū, and whānau claimants in Waitangi Tribunal historical, kaupapa and urgent inquiries. She is coordinating counsel in a number of these inquiries.
Thomas has also been involved in several Waitangi Tribunal inquiries, appeared before the Māori Land Court, and previously worked at the Whangarei Māori Land Court.
Thomas is a member of Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aotearoa (The Māori Law Society) and former president of Te Rākau Ture (Māori Law Students Association). Before practising law, she worked as a deputy registrar at the Māori Land Court in Whangarei. She is fluent in Te Reo Māori and is a strong advocate for using and promoting Te Reo Māori within the law.
Jackson said Thomas’ appointment will make a valuable contribution to the knowledge and leadership of the current bench. He also highlighted the fundamental role of the Māori Land Court in supporting whānau to thrive by enabling them to connect with, use and manage their whenua.
“Ms Thomas’ appointment will make a valuable contribution to the knowledge and leadership of the current bench,” Minister Jackson said.”