Caren Fox to be appointed Chief Judge of the Māori Land Court

Māori Development

Paki kau atu rā ki Hikurangi, ki Puketapu me ngā wai o te Tairāwhiti, anā, ko te whitinga mai o te rā! Uia mai koia te wahine tū teitei mai rā, te manu taunga o Ngāti Porou, o Rongowhakaata. Kōrero whenua, rongo ā-whare, hāpai mana wāhine, mana tangata, mana motuhake o Aotearoa. Nei rā te whakamānawa, te kōrero rangatira, te kupu whakamiha.  Ko te aonga ake o Matariki i tōna pae, ko te eanga ake ōu i tō pae. He kāhui whetū ki te rangi, he whetū koe ki te whenua.

Associate Minister of Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta today announced Judge Caren Fox as the new Chief Judge of the Māori Land Court.

"I want to congratulate Judge Fox on her appointment as Chief Judge Māori Land Court after many years of service, including during a period of modernising Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

“Judge Fox continues to shatter glass ceilings by becoming not only the first Māori woman judge to serve on the Māori Land Court but now the first wāhine officially appointed to the office of Chief Judge of the Māori Land Court.

“This is a monumental achievement for Māori women whose leadership continues to broaden perspectives across the judiciary.

“I want to acknowledge Judge Fox for the service she’s already provided to the Māori Land Court over the last 23 years, and as a member of the Waitangi Tribunal, her wealth of experience positions her well for this new role,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

Judge Fox has been Acting in the role of Chief Judge for the Māori Land Court since 30 April 2023. In 2000, Judge Fox was the first Māori woman appointed to the Māori Land Court serving in both Te Tai Rāwhiti and Waiāriki districts before being promoted to Deputy Chief Judge in 2010.

"Judge Fox, who has whakapapa links to Ngāti Porou and Rongowhakaata, brings with her a wealth of knowledge which she demonstrates through te reo me ōna tikanga Māori, in depth understanding of the Tiriti o Waitangi, as well as significant experience she has gained through her work in the judicial sector and leadership roles,” Nanaia Mahuta said. 

“I would like to wish incoming Chief Judge Fox all the best in her new role.”

Incoming Chief Judge Caren Fox will be officially sworn in as Chief Judge Māori Land Court over the next month.