Members appointed to new Immigration and Protection Tribunal

  • Simon Power
  • Jonathan Coleman
Immigration Justice

Justice Minister Simon Power and Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman today announced the 16 members of the new Immigration and Protection Tribunal.

The independent tribunal is being established under the Immigration Act 2009 to consider all immigration, deportation, refugee, and protection appeals in New Zealand. 

It will be supported by the Ministry of Justice and will commence on 29 November.

"The tribunal has a critical role to play in New Zealand fulfilling its international obligations and it will maintain and build on the very strong reputation of the existing appeal bodies. It also consolidates and streamlines the immigration appeal process,'' Dr Coleman said.

Currently, immigration appeals are heard by four separate appeal bodies: the Removal Review Authority (RRA), the Residence Review Board (RRB), the Refugee Status Appeals Authority (RSAA), and the Deportation Review Tribunal (DRT). 

The members of the tribunal are appointed by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Minister of Justice, in consultation with the Minister of Immigration, for a term not exceeding five years.

Members must be lawyers who have held a practising certificate for at least five years or have other equivalent or appropriate experience. 

"The 16 members appointed bring a high level of expertise and experience in immigration law," Mr Power said.

Of the 16, Allan Mackey, David Plunkett, Melissa Poole and Martin Treadwell have been designated as deputy chairs.

Judge Bill Hastings was appointed as chair earlier this year.

The 16 appointees are: 

  • Sharelle Aitchison LLM BA - currently a part-time member of the RSAA. Ms Aitchison has practised in the areas of refugee, human rights, and criminal law in New Zealand and overseas.
  • Bruce Burson MPP LLB (Hons) -appointed to the RSAA in 2003. Mr Burson has worked in immigration law in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
  • Annabel Clayton LLB - a member of the DRT since 2007. Ms Clayton is also an experienced RRA and RRB member.
  • Bridget Dingle LLM (1st class honours) - a member of the RSAA since 2005. Ms Dingle has worked for the Ministry of Justice and the Human Rights Commission.
  • Jeanne Donald LLM - a current member of the RRB and the RRA. Ms Donald is an Auckland lawyer.
  • Peter Fuiava LLM (Hons) BA/LLB - Mr Fuiava is a sole practitioner, duty solicitor at Manukau District Court, and a Disputes Tribunal Referee.
  • Denese Henare ONZM LLB - a current member of the RSAA. Ms Henare has 35 years' experience in the law in different capacities: as a commercial solicitor, a practitioner in private practice, and in policy development and law reform in the public sector.
  • Allan Mackey MBA LLB - current chair of the RSAA and former chair of the RRA. Mr Mackey was appointed as an immigration judge of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (UK) in 2005. He was involved in the early development of the International Association of Refugee Law Judges and has been a trainer on refugee determination for numerous workshops internationally.
  • Louise Moor LLM BA - a legal associate for the RSAA from 2001-03. Ms Moor was most recently a researcher and legal adviser in the Refugee and Migrants' Rights team at Amnesty International based in London.
  • Sharon Pearson LLB (1st class honours) PGDip Guidance & Counselling PGDip Arts (Hons) BA DipEd Dip Tchg - currently a member of the RRB and the RRA. Ms Pearson is also a former Disputes Tribunal Referee.
  • David Plunkett MA LLB (Hons) BSc -current chair of the RRA and RRB, and presiding member of the DRT. Mr Plunkett has practised in New Zealand and Hong Kong.
  • Melissa Poole LLM - a member of the RRB since 1999, and appointed to the RRA in July 2005. Ms Poole was a senior law lecturer and former deputy director at Victoria University's New Zealand Institute of Public Law.
  • Virginia Shaw MA LLB BA - a current member of the RRA and former member of the RSAA. Ms Shaw works as a part-time criminal prosecutor in Hamilton and is heavily involved with local community groups.
  • Graham Taylor PhD LLM (1st class honours) - Mr Taylor has experience in private legal practice, government, regulatory authority, and universities, in New Zealand and overseas.
  • Martin Treadwell LLB - a member of the RSAA, RRB and RRA, and deputy presiding member of the DRT. Mr Treadwell has experience across a wide variety of legal fields, particularly immigration and administrative law.
  • Veronique Vervoort MA LLB BA - a current member of the RRB and the RRA. Ms Vervoort is a former lawyer.