District Court Judge appointed

  • Christopher Finlayson

Auckland lawyer Denese Henare ONZM has been appointed as a District Court Judge to serve in Auckland, Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson announced today.

Judge Henare was admitted to the New Zealand Bar in 1974. In 1975 she was a Commissioner on the Royal Commission on Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion.

From 1977 to 1986 she completed a Diploma in Air and Space Law from University College, London and worked as a company solicitor for Air New Zealand, during which time she was counsel involved in the Mt Erebus inquiry.

Judge Henare entered sole practice in 1989 and practiced in the areas of Maori land law, administrative law and public law, appearing in the Waitangi Tribunal, Maori Land Court, High Court and Court of Appeal.

She was the principal legal adviser to Waikato Tainui in their Treaty settlement negotiations on fisheries, raupatu lands and the Waikato River. From 1997 to 2000 she was a Law Commissioner. From 2009 to 2012 she was a member of the Refugee Status Appeals Authority and the Immigration Protection Tribunal.

Judge Henare has been an Auckland City Councillor; a member of the Rhodes Scholars selection panel, honorary legal adviser to the Māori Women’s Welfare League and Pacifica and has served on numerous government boards and community organisations relating to Māori social and economic development, local government, health, education and human rights.

Judge Henare (Ngati Hine, Ngapuhi) was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 1997.

Judge Henare will be sworn in on 30 October 2013 at Auckland.