Implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Aotearoa - Theory and Practice (UNDRIP)

Keynote Speaker - Professor S. James Anaya

The American James J. Lenoir Professor of Human Rights Law and Policy at the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law, Professor S. James Anaya will be a leading figure at the conference.

Professor Anaya is of Apache and Purepecha descent. He is a graduate of the University of New Mexico (B.A., 1980) and Harvard Law School (J.D., 1983), and is widely recognized as the leading scholar on indigenous peoples and human rights. His book Indigenous Peoples in International Law (Oxford Univ. Press, 1996) established a human rights normative framework for the support of indigenous rights in international law that received widespread support from both states and indigenous activists.

In March 2008, he was appointed by the United Nations as its Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous Peoples. Since his appointment, Professor Anaya has issued dozens of reports, communications and statements on human rights violations. Most recently he produced a major report on extractive industries and indigenous peoples that has been welcomed by indigenous leaders across the globe. More »

Keynote Speaker - Professor Michael James ‘Mick’ Dodson

Professor Mick Dodson is a member of the Yawuru peoples, the traditional Aboriginal owners of land and waters in the Broome area of the southern Kimberley region of Western Australia. He is a Professor of Law at the Australian National University’s College of Law and Director of the ANU National Centre for Indigenous Studies.

Professor Dodson participated in the crafting of the text of the Declaration in the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations, which established the core self-determination framework for the Declaration.

Professor Dodson was the first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner for Human Rights and Equal Opportunity in Australia (April 1993 to January 1998). In January 2005 to 2010 Dodson was an expert member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. In 2009 Professor Dodson was named Australian of the Year by the National Australia Day Council. More »

Speaker - Fleur Adcock

Fleur (Ngati Mutunga and English) is a Research Associate with the National Centre for Indigenous Studies at the Australian National University. Her research focuses on Indigenous peoples’ rights and regulatory theory. Fleur submitted her PhD, ‘The United Nations Special Procedures and Indigenous peoples: A regulatory analysis’, with the Australian National University in November 2013. Fleur holds a Master of Laws (Distinction) from the Victoria University of Wellington and Bachelors of Laws (First Class Honours) and Arts (Maori Studies) from the University of Canterbury. Before commencing her doctoral studies Fleur practiced for several years as a solicitor and as in-house legal counsel, including assisting iwi in the negotiation of historical Treaty settlement negotiations with the Crown.

Speaker - Natalie Baird

Natalie Baird is a Senior Lecturer in law, at Canterbury University. Before commencing her academic career, Natalie’s career had been primarily in the New Zealand public service. This included four years at the Crown Law Office where she worked primarily on Treaty of Waitangi and international law issues, and three years in the Cabinet Office as a legal adviser on constitutional issues. Natalie also worked at the New Zealand Law Commission on the Commission’s project on custom and human rights in the Pacific, resulting in the 2006 publication "Converging Currents: Custom and Human Rights in the Pacific" (Study Paper 17). Natalie has also spent a year in Cambodia under the auspices of Volunteer Service Abroad working at a Cambodian legal aid and human rights NGO. She is currently a trustee of the Trade Aid Christchurch Trust and a member of the Trade Aid New Zealand Governing Committee.

Natalie’s current research interests lie in the areas of international human rights, refugee law and Pacific legal studies. Natalie teaches International Human Rights and part of the Public Law, Bill of Rights and Immigration and Refugee Law courses.

Speaker - Dr Claire Breen

Claire Breen is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, Waikato. Her current research interests focus upon the confluence of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, with a particular interest in States' legal obligations arising from post-conflict reconstruction. Dr Breen has also published extensively in the area of children's rights. She teaches international human rights law and the laws of armed conflict at the undergraduate and graduate level. Dr Breen also teaches public international law to undergraduate students. More »

Speaker - Dr Claire Charters

Claire is a Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Auckland.

Claire is from Ngati Whakaue, Tuwharetoa, Nga Puhi and Tainui.

Claire’s primary area of research is in indigenous peoples’ rights in international and constitutional law, often with a comparative focus. Her PhD thesis examined the legitimacy of indigenous peoples’ norms under international law.

Claire has typically combined her academic research and teaching with advocacy for the rights of indigenous peoples at the domestic and international levels. She represented, for example, iwi in claims relating to the foreshore and seabed legislation before the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. From 2010-2013 Claire worked for the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Indigenous Peoples and Minorities Section, focusing on the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Among her publications, she is the co-editor – along with former Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Professor Rodolfo Stavenhagen – of Making the Declaration Work: The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2009) Copenhagen, Denmark: IWGIA.

Speaker - Andrew Erueti

Andrew is a Senior Lecturer, at Waikato specialising in indigenous rights law. Before joining Te Piringa, Andrew was Amnesty International’s (international secretariat) policy and law specialist on projects related to promoting the human rights of Indigenous peoples. He also worked as an advocate for local hapu and iwi including acting as cocounsel in iwi claims to the UN Racial Discrimination Committee in relation to foreshore and seabed legislation and as lead counsel in the urgency claim by iwi to petroleum before the Waitangi Tribunal. He is from Nga Ruahinerangi, Ngati Ruanui and Ati Hau.
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Speaker - Edwina Hughes

Edwina Hughes is the Coordinator of Peace Movement Aotearoa, the national networking peace organisation. She is the author of 11 NGO reports to UN human rights treaty bodies and Special Procedures, mainly focussed on the New Zealand government’s performance in relation to the Treaty of Waitangi and indigenous peoples’ rights in international law; of Time for change: A framework for community discussion on values-based and Treaty-based constitutional arrangements (2012); and of the 2008 petition to parliament on the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Edwina co-authored the combined ‘Treaty of Waitangi and indigenous peoples’ rights’ NGO submissions for New Zealand’s first and second Universal Periodic Review with the Aotearoa Indigenous Rights Trust.

Speaker - Catherine Iorns

Catherine is a Senior Lecturer in law at the Law Faculty, Victoria University. She has written extensively on domestic treaty issues as well as international law and indigenous peoples including, "Reparations for Maori Grievances in Aotearoa New Zealand" in Frederico Lenzerini (ed) Reparations for Indigenous Peoples: International and Comparative Perspectives (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2008) pp 523-64; and "Indigenous Political Representation: Latin America and International Human Rights Law" (2011) NS11 Journal of New Zealand Studies pp 93-108.

Speaker - Moana Jackson

Moana Jackson is a New Zealand Maori lawyer specialising in Treaty of Waitangi and constitutional issues. Moana Jackson is of Ngati Kahungunu and Ngati Porou descent. He is presently Director of Nga Kaiwhakamarama I Nga Ture (the Maori Legal Service) which he co-founded in 1987, and he teaches in the Maori Law and Philosophy degree programme at Te Wananga o Raukawa.. He has worked extensively overseas on international indigenous issues, particularly the drafting of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. He was a judge on the International Tribunal of Indigenous Rights in Hawaii in 1993 and again in Canada in 1995.

He teaches in the Maori Law and Philosophy degree programme at Te Wananga o Raukawa.

Speaker - Maui Solomon

Maui is a Barrister and Indigenous Peoples Advocate with 22 years legal experience specialising in land and fishing claims, cultural and intellectual property, environmental law and Treaty/Indigenous Peoples Rights issues. He has also been a key legal and political advocate for the recognition of the customary and Treaty rights and identity, mediation and negotiation of his own Moriori people of Rekohu (Chatham Islands) and Maori tribes in Aotearoa/New Zealand. He currently represents 3 of the 6 tribes in the landmark Wai 262 claim before the Waitangi Tribunal concerning indigenous flora and fauna and cultural/intellectual heritage rights of Maori under the Treaty of Waitangi, which claim seeks, among other things, to develop a unique system for protection and use of Maori traditional knowledge and associated resources. Maui maintains an active interest in international Indigenous Peoples issues with particular emphasis on the Convention on Biological Diversity and the World Intellectual Property Organisation.

Speaker - Dayle Takitimu

Dayle, an Associate with Corban Revell, is a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court, who has practised in Maori, indigenous rights and environmental law for over 12 years. She has represented iwi interests at the United Nations; before the Working Group for Indigenous Peoples and the Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

She has recently led her iwi, Te Whanau a Apanui, in their challenge against a deep sea drilling permit off the East Coast. She is actively involved in Treaty education, and advocacy. She is a Trustee of the Aotearoa Indigenous Rights Trust, and champions the Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the (draft) Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth.

Speaker - Linda Te Aho

Linda Te Aho is of Waikato-Tainui, Ngati Koroki Kahukura descent and Senior Lecturer at Te Piringa - Faculty of Law, University of Waikato. Linda's research focuses on contemporary issues in Maori Law and Society, including the sustainable development and management of Maori resources in a broad sense, with a particular focus on freshwater issues. More »

Speaker - Valmaine Toki

Valmaine Toki is senior lectuter in law at the Faculty of Law/Te Piringa and is of Nga Puhi, Ngati Wai and Ngati Rehua descent.

As a He Ture Pumau scholar Valmaine previously worked for Te Ohu Kai Moana Trustee Ltd on Maori fisheries, aquaculture and asset allocation. During this time Valmaine completed an MBA from the Australian Maritime College at the University of Tasmania, focusing on marine resource management, spanning strategic planning, economic growth, management planning, and sustainable practices. Valmaine has assisted in cases to the Maori 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. Valmaine is a Vice Chair on the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. More »

Speaker - Gerald Torres

Professor Torres is Professor of Law at Cornell Law School and former president of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). A leading figure in critical race theory, Torres is also an expert in agricultural and environmental law.

His latest book, The Miner's Canary: Enlisting Race, Resisting Power, Transforming Democracy (Harvard University Press, 2002) with Harvard law professor Lani Guinier, was described by Publisher's Weekly as "one of the most provocative and challenging books on race produced in years." Torres' many articles include "Translation and Stories" (Harvard Law Review, 2002), "Who Owns the Sky?" (Pace Law Review, 2001) (Garrison Lecture), "Taking and Giving: Police Power, Public Value, and Private Right" (Environmental Law, 1996), and "Translating Yonnondio by Precedent and Evidence: The Mashpee Indian Case" (Duke Law Journal, 1990).

Torres has served on the board of the Environmental Law Institute, the National Petroleum Council and on EPA's National Environmental Justice Advisory Council. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Law Institute. Torres was honored with the 2004 Legal Service Award from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) for his work to advance the legal rights of Latinos. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard and Stanford law schools.

Speaker - Bradford W. Morse

Professor Morse is the Dean and Professor of Law at Te Piringa - Faculty of Law. He remains a Professor of Law in the Faculty of Law, at the University of Ottawa (on leave of absence) where he served in the past as Vice-Dean and Director of Graduate Studies, among a variety of other administrative duties since joining the Faculty in 1976. He has taught a wide variety of courses concerning Canadian and comparative Indigenous law issues, as well as labour law, trusts, property and civil liberties. His career includes appointments as Executive Director of the Native Legal Task Force of British Columbia (1974-75); Research Director of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry of Manitoba (1988-91); and Chief of Staff to the Hon. Ronald A. Irwin, Canadian Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (1993-1996).

He has served as legal advisor to many First Nations in Canada as well as national and regional Aboriginal organizations since 1974 in a broad range of constitutional, land claim, governance, economic and treaty issues. He was General Counsel to the Native Council of Canada from 1984-93 during which time he was directly involved in the First Ministers Constitutional Conference Process (1984-87), Meech Lake Accord Constitutional proposals (1987-90) and Charlottetown Constitutional Accord proposals (1990-92). He was previously advising the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians during the development of the Canadian Constitution, Act 1982 (1979-82). He has been a consultant to various royal commissions, government departments and Indigenous peoples' organisations in Canada, Australia and New Zealand (including the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, the Australian Law Reform Commission and Waitangi Tribunal) and as a Chief Federal Negotiator on several land claims and treaty issues in Canada. Professor Morse has been a visiting scholar to a number of law schools over his career including the Universities of New South Wales, Melbourne, Queensland, Monash, Hong Kong, and Victoria University of Wellington as well as Senior Fulbright Scholar at the Native American Legal Research Center at Oklahoma City University. He has authored over 100 articles, books, book chapters and commission reports. More »

Speaker - Dr Matthew S R Palmer

Matthew has extensive experience in public law and public policy. He specialises in litigation and advice challenging/defending the decisions of government, Crown entities and public bodies. He is expert in the Treaty of Waitangi and constitutional matters. Before going to the Bar, Matthew held positions as Deputy Solicitor-General (Public Law), Deputy Secretary for Justice (Public Law), and Dean of Law and Director of the New Zealand Centre for Public Law at Victoria University of Wellington. Matthew has written several books and many articles and chapters on New Zealand public law and law and economics, winning the Legal Research Foundation prizes for the best book in New Zealand Law (The Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand’s Law and Constitution, 2008).