Issue 10 - July 2012         

New law and management building

The University of Waikato’s Te Piringa - Faculty of Law is going to get a new state-of-the-art home – just in time for the Faculty’s 25th anniversary in 2015.

Plans for a multi-million dollar building to house Te Piringa - Faculty of Law, Waikato Management School’s Centre for Corporate and Executive Education and student services were approved by the University Council this month. Detailed plans will now be developed and tenders are expected to be called next year.
The new building will provide teaching rooms, offices, dedicated spaces for postgraduate students, shared student services, shared computer labs, a reception area and a ceremonial space for meetings with university visitors. It will also house Law’s research centres - the Māori and Indigenous Governance Centre and the Centre for Environmental Resources and Energy Law - and have a fully functional moot courtroom
The two Faculties’ Deans are delighted with the decision.
“This new building will provide an exciting launch pad for major growth in student enrolment, external research revenue, continuing education for the legal profession and enhanced reputation," says Law Dean Professor Brad Morse.
The design features a striking rectilinear five-storey office tower with vertical sunshade vanes referencing the tukutuku reed panels in a traditional meeting house. The tower will be linked at ground level to the existing Management building on Hillcrest Road.
  Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford says "The new building will nurture collaboration and allow for the growth and development of our faculties of law and management, as well as enhancing our superb campus."
Read more



Kia ora all - Matiu Dickson

I am now on a year's study leave and will be teaching at the University of Wuhan in China during October and at the University of Ottawa in January. I have completed three years as the Chair of Faculty and Wayne Rumbles has now taken over.

Being the Chair gave me a leadership role at Te Piringa and I enjoyed that, particularly the support I could give to the Dean and the Kaupapa of the Faculty. I feel that having a Māori person in the Chairperson’s role went some way to realising the bicultural nature of leadership in the Faculty. The position meant that I sometimes had to deal immediately with unforeseen problems and required a calm demeanour and exceptional diplomatic skills! I want to thank all those who helped out when needed and gave me wise counsel when required. The support of the Dean come what may, also helped immensely; nō reira ka nui te mihi ki a koe e Hoa!



How “justice” is imagined differently across "law and economics" forums

Dr Sadeq Bigdeli, senior lecturer at Te Piringa-Faculty of Law recently attended three conferences that focussed on what may be broadly referred to as “ law and economics". First, the annual workshop of the Harvard Institute for Global Law and Policy (IGLP) where about 100 senior and junior academics from around the world gathered to share their views on various aspects of global economic governance.

As a progressively-oriented institute, IGLP’s objective is “to nurture innovative approaches to global policy in the face of a legal and institutional architecture manifestly ill-equipped to address our most urgent global challenges”. IGLP views global poverty, conflict, injustice and inequality as legal and institutional regimes and “explores the ways in which they are reproduced and what might be done in response”. At the main workshop there were eight streams covering legal, economics, politics, history and science of the global economy at a deep theoretical and practical level. There were writing workshops in the afternoon for junior academics and plenary panels in the evening on topics ranging from “Immanuel Kant” to “EU Financial Crisis” and “The Next Left”.
Closer to home, Sadeq presented a paper at a one-day workshop organised by the Law and Economics Association of New Zealand (LEANZ) in Wellington. LEANZ is “dedicated to the advancement in New Zealand of the understanding of law and economics”.Austrian (libertarian) and neoclassical economics are among the dominant discourses but people from across the spectrum of economic theory (e.g. Keynesian, behavioural or even heterodox economics) would equally feel welcome at LEANZ. There was a round table discussion on ways to promote the teaching of law and economics in New Zealand. Sadeq pointed out that although there is no law and economics paper currently taught at Te Piringa, about two weeks in the jurisprudence paper are devoted to this topic where Posner’s ideas (among Coase, Calabresi and others) are taught and critiqued.
Finally, the bi-annual conference of the Society of International Economic Law convened in Singapore with more than 200 participants presenting their work in 24 panels. The themes mainly centred around ways to address the existing fragmentation between international trade, investment and financial law on the one hand and state sovereignty to pursue social objectives (e.g. health, safety and the environment) on the other. The conference was heated by debates around how the recent Australian measure to mandate tobacco plain-packaging may conflict with international trade and investment agreements.
Sadeq says that at the international level, the only consensus out there is on the fact that we are currently going through special times involving significant risks for global governance. But the kinds of responses that are proposed to address international challenges are at some conscious or subconscious level influenced by our idea of what a just (national or international) society is. "Even those legal issues that appear most ‘technical’ in nature maybe at some deeper level informed by various 'modes' of thinking, ethos,'habitus' and the great thing about what’s going on in law and econ-oriented conferences these days is that we can more openly say this.”



An invitation to a public lecture by Professor Stephen Cornell PhD

Professor Cornell has spent much of the last 20 years working with Indigenous nations and organisations - mostly in the United States but also in Canada, Australia and New Zealand - on governance, economic development and tribal policy issues. He has written widely on indigenous affairs, economic development, collective identity and ethnic and race relations.

Indigenous Development: Governance & Nation Building
Wednesday 1 August 2011
K.G.11 at 11.00am to 11.50am.
Stephen Cornell is Director of the Udall Centre for Studies in Public Policy and Professor of Sociology and of Public Administration and Policy at the University of Arizona where he also serves as a faculty associate with the Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management and Policy. Professor Cornell is also co-director of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development at Harvard University with Professor Joseph P Kalt.
Professor Cornell’s visit is sponsored by Waikato-Tainui College for Research and Development.



LAWS 557 - Māori and Indigenous Governance will be taught from 27 August to 14 September 2012.

“With the growing awareness of sustainable development, corporate responsibility and the recognition of indigenous rights, this course is ideal for postgraduate students who wish to pursue an ‘alternative’ or more sustainable approach to governance,” says lecturer Valmaine Toki.

The paper aims to provide students with an understanding of comparative indigenous perspectives of governance and how they relate to the respective jurisdiction. Some emphasis will be placed on Māori governance.
Valmaine (Nga Puhi, Ngati Wai and Ngati Rehua) says students will gain an understanding of governance and the governance process within selected jurisdictions, a critical appreciation of the importance of an indigenous lens, and an ability to analyse and apply indigenous concepts of governance within the respective legislative framework.
Valmaine has a wealth of experience in the area of Māori governance. Before joining Te Piringa she lectured at the Faculty of Law, University of Auckland within the areas of Contemporary Treaty and Māori Issues, Jurisprudence and Legal Method. As a He Ture Pumau scholar Valmaine previously worked for Te Ohu Kai Moana Trust Ltd on Māori fisheries, aquaculture and asset allocation.
She has assisted in cases to the Māori Land Court, the Environment Court, and the High Court and as a Treaty negotiator for her hapu. Her research interests lie within the area of human and indigenous rights, therapeutic jurisprudence and resource management. She is Vice Chair on the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and last month attended the international Rio+20 forum where she sat on a the Indigenous Peoples and Food Sovereignty Panel.
Click here for more information
about LAWS 557.



Two BoP teams contest mooting final

Two Tauranga teams faced each other in the final of this year’s secondary schools’ Mooting Competition hosted by Te Piringa - Faculty of Law and held at the Hamilton High Court. It was close, but in the end Tauranga Girls’ College beat Otumoetai College.

The Tauranga team was Lydia Verschaffelt, Emily van Arendonk and Loren McCarthy and the Otumoetai team was Zachary Klavs, Aislinn Morris and Georgina Read.
Teams from all over the North Island contested the preliminary rounds - from Taranaki, Hawke’s Bay, Bay of Plenty, Auckland and Waikato.
Director of Clinical Legal Education at Te Piringa – Faculty of Law, Cheryl Green attended all the early rounds. “The judges were very impressed with the mooting standard and there were only a few marks difference between most teams. It was obvious they’d all put in a lot of hard work prior to the preliminaries and had prepared well. It was tough picking the eight teams for the semi-finals.”
The semi-finals were held in Hamilton and each mooter had their argument tested by a series of questions from a high powered panel of judges. “The students all demonstrated an ability to think on their feet, which can often be the most difficult job when presenting court submissions,” says Cheryl.
It was the first time two teams from Tauranga had been selected to contest the final. “It was very, very close and both teams were commended by the judges for their extremely high standard of presentation.”
The best individual speaker award went to Zac Klavs of Otumoetai College.
Cheryl says the display of commitment, hard work and talent by the teams was inspiring. “We look forward to welcoming them to our Faculty as their next step to a career in law.” Read More



Teaching indigenous law in mainstream courses

I had the opportunity to facilitate a session at the recent Australasian Law Teachers Association conference held at the University of Sydney in July. The session was about teaching indigenous law in mainstream law courses and finding ways to attract and retain indigenous students.

I am the convenor of the indigenous interest group and the opportunity to host a session arose from a concern I expressed after the last conference in QUT, Brisbane where the indigenous sessions were held at the closing stages of the conference and thus poorly attended. The organisers of the Sydney conference decided to give the topic more prominence with three sessions held near the start of the conference. They were well attended and interest was high.
Australian law faculties have fewer indigenous studies options and fewer students but are keen to improve their offerings. They look to New Zealand law faculties for ideas about what they can do and Te Piringa is gaining an international reputation as one of the law faculties leading the way in this area. The highlight for me was the presentation by Kristy Kennedy, an Aboriginal law graduate from the University of Sydney. Her experience as a student reflected much of the experience of our own Māori students, particularly her obligations to her family and her community while trying to meet the demands of legal study.



Law alumna’s experiences in Afghanistan

Zen Under Fire by Marianne Elliott is a book about one woman’s experience working in Afghanistan. It tells of Marianne’s experiences as a human rights officer with a UN mission, employed to monitor human rights issues in the Western region of the country.

Marianne is a University of Waikato Law graduate, she completed an LLB with First Class honours at Waikato in 1995. She says her Waikato experience prepared her well for her career in human rights law. “Waikato had a strong focus on social justice and human rights law and my honours supervisor Paul Hunt was the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health. He not only taught me about human rights and the international legal system, he also recommended me for my first human rights job in Gaza Strip.”
Her first job was working as the international legal advisor to a Palestinian human rights organisation, and for a decade she worked for various human rights and humanitarian NGOs around the world, eventually going on the UN Mission to Afghanistan. While she was technically prepared for anything that was thrown at her, living and working in the middle of such turmoil was often a strain.
As the book blurb says, she was just starting to get her bearings in Herat when news of an assassination and escalating violence in the district shatters her equilibrium. More than four years after leaving, Marianne says her feelings about Afghanistan and its people remain complex. “But in all my travels I can’t think of a more resilient population and long-term, I’m confident that the people will forge a better future for themselves and their country.”
Her life is quieter these days but no less busy. Based in New Zealand, she does research and writing work for human and women’s rights organisations, has done freelance writing for a variety of publications and recently did her first radio feature story for Radio NZ. She’s working with a US publisher on an American version of Zen Under Fire, which will also be published in German. In addition, Marianne leads ‘Off the Mat, Into the World’, a yoga and service organisation, in New Zealand and Australia, teaches yoga and meditation online and runs yoga for stress management workshops for aid and humanitarian organisations.



Law student wins Youth Volunteer Award

Waikato Law and Science student Jason Sebestian is Volunteering Waikato’s 2012 Youth Volunteer of the Year. Jason studies, has two part time jobs and spends between 25 and 30 hours a week helping out on community projects.

As a first year university student he joined AIESEC, an international student group based in 110 countries, and decided that he would also like to become involved in community volunteering. He started working with the Red Cross and is now its youth co-ordinator in Hamilton. He’s also deputy chair of the Hamilton Youth Council.
“You have to be a good time manager, to fit in your study, work and volunteering, but it’s definitely do-able,” says Jason. “And even though I’m helping others, I’m also gaining from my experiences. As a volunteer, you learn a lot of practical skills and meet a lot of people from all walks of life. Some are motivational and inspirational.”
He says his parents were active community volunteers and he suspects some of that has rubbed off. “Even though it can be a challenge at times, fitting everything into your day, you weigh that up against the opportunities that arise and the difference you can make, and it makes it all worthwhile.”
Volunteering New Zealand's chief executive, Vanisa Dhiru, said Jason was among a group of young leaders that was "doing great things and bringing others with them".



Diary Dates

An invitation to a public lecture by Professor Stephen Cornell of the Harvard Project on Indian Economic Development.

Indigenous Development: Governance & Nation Building

Date: Wednesday 1 August 2012

Time:11:00am - 11:50am

Venue: K.G.11

World Indigenous Lawyers' Conference 2012

Date: Wednesday 5 September - Saturday 8 September 2012

Conference Venue: University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand

For more information about the conference click here.

or email:

Postgraduate Study Options

Kia ora and welcome to Te Piringa - Faculty of Law's postgraduate website. Here you will find information relating to everything from admission to study options, research facilities, scholarships and other funding opportunities, as well as information about staff and students. We look forward to hearing from you. Read More

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Table of Contents for Vol 19, 2011 Read More


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