The Tribunal is administered by the Ministry of Justice and is completely separate from the Human Rights Commission, Privacy Commissioner, and Health and Disability Commissioner.
The Chairperson and deputy chairpersons are appointed by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Minister of Justice. Members of the Panel maintained by the Minister under s 101 of the Human Rights Act 1993 are appointed by the Minister alone. Individual cases are heard by a chairperson or deputy chairperson plus 2 panel members.
Appointments are based on knowledge or experience of issues likely to come before the Tribunal, such as:
Rodger Haines QC was appointed Chairperson in July 2011. After being admitted to practice in 1972 Mr Haines engaged for the next eleven years in Government litigation and prosecution work. In 1983 he commenced practice as a barrister sole specialising in human rights and administrative law along with the related fields of immigration, citizenship, extradition, fisheries and customs. When the New Zealand refugee determination system was set up in 1991 he was one of the original three appointees to the Refugee Status Appeals Authority and wrote many of its principal decisions. He remained a member of the Authority until it was disestablished in November 2010. In the period 1994 to 2010 he was Deputy Chairperson. From 1993 to 2012 Mr Haines was adjunct lecturer in law at the Faculty of Law, Auckland University, where he taught Immigration and Refugee Law. In 2000 and again in 2003 he co-taught papers in Comparative Asylum Law at the University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor. In May 1999 he was appointed Queen's Counsel and in November 2013 appointed Justice of the Pitcairn Supreme Court. On 4 June 2018 he was appointed Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in recognition of his services to refugee and human rights law.
Katherine Anderson is a Barrister Sole who has been a Panel member of the Human Rights Review Tribunal since 2013. Ms Anderson is a disputes resolution lawyer with extensive experience in private and public law. She has a strong background in governance, good decision-making processes, health law, privacy, and commercial and public law disputes.
Martha Coleman was appointed Deputy Chairperson in May 2019 and is an experienced public lawyer with over 20 years practice. She has been a Barrister sole since 2014 and for the previous 14 years was employed by the Crown Law Office specialising in the area of human rights. Ms Coleman is also a Parole Board Convenor, having first been appointed to the Board in 2014, and a District Inspector for Mental Health since 2017. Ms Coleman holds an LLM from Yale University where she studied on a Fulbright Scholarship with a focus on constitutional and anti-discrimination law. She was also the recipient of a Human Rights Teaching Fellowship at Columbia University.
Sarah Eyre was appointed Deputy Chairperson in May 2019. Ms Eyre graduated from the University of Otago with a law degree and a Bachelor of Arts in Māori; she was admitted to the Bar in 2000. Ms Eyre commenced her career with work as a Refugee Status Officer, determining refugee claims for two years. Following that Ms Eyre practiced in a private law firm in Auckland with a focus on litigation, specialising in Treaty of Waitangi claims, Māori legal issues and refugee law over a period of 9 years. After becoming a Barrister, Ms Eyre undertook a number of quasi-judicial roles and specialised in dispute resolution, including in relation to small claims, prisoner conduct, civil, tort, consumer disputes and disciplinary complaints in the real estate industry. Immediately prior to being appointed Deputy Chair, Ms Eyre had held a statutory warrant as a Disputes Tribunal Referee for 8 years and as a Visiting Justice for 4 years.
Ms Foster was appointed Deputy Chairperson in May 2019. She is an experienced public lawyer with significant expertise in human rights and administrative law including nearly 20 years of litigation practice. She has specialised in matters involving the Human Rights Act 1993, the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 and the Privacy Act 1993. Admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor in 1995, she worked as a litigation solicitor for Chapman Tripp until 1997 when she joined the Crown Law Human Rights Team as an assistant crown counsel. She remained at Crown Law for over 17 years, working predominantly on human rights matters, becoming an associate crown counsel in 2004 and crown counsel in 2009. In late 2015 she joined the Office of the Privacy Commissioner as General Counsel, where her principal responsibility was providing expert legal advice and quality assurance for the Commissioner in administering the Privacy Act, including managing the office’s litigation matters.
Ms Goodwin has been a Panel member of the Human Rights Review Tribunal since 2013. For the past 29 years she has been a partner in major New Zealand law firms, most recently Anthony Harper. She has also worked at Linklaters in London. Her area of expertise is corporate and commercial law with an emphasis on securities law and finance. Ms Goodwin also advises on privacy law issues. Ms Goodwin is a member of the Institute of Directors and has been on the Auckland District Law Society Commercial Law Committee, the New Zealand Law Society Commercial and Business Law Committee and served on the National Board of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Leigh Alaeinia works for NZ Police in Youth Development. She is also involved with The Children's Team, Rotorua in the capacity of both panel member and Lead Professional. She is a board member of several youth-focused committees and trusts and involved in the development and delivery of intervention programmes for youth. Ms Alaeinia's background studies in law and psychology, along with her extensive hotel management experience combine to give her a wide perspective on societal and cultural issues.
John Fountain is a semi retired academic economist. He has a BA Hons in Economics from the University of British Columbia and a PhD in Economics from Stanford University. Dr Fountain has taught and researched for many years at the University of Canterbury as well as at various universities in Canada in a wide range of theoretical and applied fields in economics, including health and public sector economics. He has a decade of small business experience in New Zealand and has worked on the leading edge of developments in computing and the internet as part of the global academic community. He is presently lives in Mapua, managing a small holiday stay business and continues to work on research projects on High Country pastoral leases, statistical information theory and economics, and on reform of NZ’s social security legislation and institutions.
Wendy Gilchrist is a New Zealander of European descent with a range of health sector, research and business skills. Married 30 years with three adult sons, the support of families, equity in our community and employment issues are of particular interest to her. Since training as a medical and obstetric nurse Mrs Gilchrist has had a career in medical research and business. She owned and managed a medical diagnostics business providing services to both the public sector and private sector. This included training research technologists both nationally and internationally and developing standards for the industry. She was also involved with the establishment of the Canterbury Osteoporosis Society and Osteoporosis New Zealand. Previously an elected member of the Canterbury District Health Board Mrs Gilchrist was also an appointed member of the Christchurch Community Forum which provided advice to the Earthquake Minister. She now manages business interests in Christchurch.
Deborah Hart is the executive director of the Arbitrators' and Mediators' Institute of New Zealand. Formerly a practising lawyer, she has served on the government's Small Business Advisory Group and the Legal Aid Review Panel. She has served on many community groups and is currently an adviser to the Wellington Jewish Community Centre and a life patron of the Adam Art Gallery.
Huhana Hickey has an LLB/BSoc Sci, LLM (Distinction) and a PhD in Law and Tikanga Maori from the University of Waikato. She was a solicitor at Auckland Disability Law (the first disability community law centre in New Zealand) and a Māori Research Fellow at the Taupua Waiora Māori Health Research Unit at the Auckland University of Technology, Akoranga, Auckland. Dr Hickey was the indigenous peoples’ representative for the International Disability Association steering group caucus during the development of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and is still involved with the IDA international networks. Dr Hickey was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2015 for her services to Māori and disability community. She holds several governance roles, is a member of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of New Zealand, sits on the UNITEC ethics committee and is a life member of Rostrevor House in the Waikato.
Mike Keefe is from Ngatï Kahungunu. His whakapapa also connects him to Te Arawa and Ngati Porou. He has a policing background, having served 25 years in the NZ Police (Wellington and Rotorua) in a variety of positions, retiring with the rank of Detective Sergeant. Following retirement Mr Keefe started his own property development company renovating existing and building new residential properties. He was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 2000, and has served on numerous committees in different roles. Having always had a strong interest in helping youth to succeed he is in his fourth year as Chairperson of the Rotorua Youth and Health Centre Trust. Having similarly been involved with other charitable organisations over many years he remains active in supporting other like organisations. He was recently appointed to the Lotteries committee for the Bay of Plenty/Gisborne Districts, a position which provides a further avenue for service to the community. Mr Keefe returned to the employment of the NZ Police in November of 2001 in a civilian role and currently holds the position of the District Arms Officer for the Rotorua Police.
Pastor Ravi Musuku has qualifications in mechanical engineering and in theology. He has had managerial roles in the engineering industry and was principal of a Technical School. As a pastor at Hillsborough Baptist Church Pastor Musuku has had wide experience in working with different ethnic communities and people from different religious backgrounds, and in helping new migrants in their settling process in the country. He also works with different groups to reduce prison recidivism. Pastor Musuku is currently the Chairman of Christian Love Link in Auckland (West), an organisation of 20 churches in the central and west suburbs of Auckland.
Poalaga Selma Scott holds qualifications in arts (history) (1982) and law (1986) from University of Canterbury. She was admitted to the Bar in New Zealand and also in Samoa in 1986. She has extensive legal, justice, housing, and accident compensation sector experience. Mrs Scott is a sole practitioner and her main areas of practice include immigration, property, accident compensation, family, and employment law. She is a member of the Government Superannuation Appeals Board, is Chair of the Board of the Pacific Trust Canterbury, and Vice-Chair of the Niu Economic & Enterprise Development Trust in Christchurch.
Ken Shirley is a science graduate with professional experience in water and soil conservation and sustainable land management. He is currently CEO of Road Transport Forum N.Z. and is a former CEO of three industry associations, namely the NZ Forest Owners’ Association, Organics Aotearoa NZ and the Researched Medicines Industry Association. He was a member of the New Zealand House of Representatives for five parliamentary terms and is a former Minister of the Crown.
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