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.
Lesley Ashworth has a LLB/BA from Waikato University. She has worked in both private practice and in government agencies with a particular interest in employment law and dispute resolution. She did further study and training to become a restorative justice facilitator and mediator in the early 2000's and then worked for the Human Rights Commission as a mediator for several years. She now has her own practice in mediation and facilitation, working mostly in the area of workplace disputes. She is a contract mediator to the Ministry of Business, Employment and Innovation Employment Mediation Service. She is a New Zealand representative on the Board of Resolution Institute, a professional body for dispute resolution in New Zealand.
Natalie Baird is an Associate Professor at the School of Law at the University of Canterbury. She holds an LLM from Columbia University where she studied on a Fulbright Scholarship with a focus on international human rights law. The first part of Ms Baird’s career was spent in the New Zealand public service including at the Crown Law Office, the Cabinet Office and the Law Commission. Based at the University of Canterbury since 2007, Ms Baird’s teaching and research interests include international human rights, refugee law, Pacific legal studies, and international disaster law. Ms Baird is also the Co-Director of Canterbury’s LLM (International Law and Politics) programme. Throughout her career, Ms Baird has maintained a keen commitment to the community via volunteering and governance roles with various organisations including Amnesty International, Volunteer Service Abroad and Trade Aid.
Patsi Davies affiliates to Ngai Tahu. Admitted to the Bar in 1999, she holds qualifications in law, health, social sciences and alcoholism counselling. She has had managerial roles in the health and disability sector, governance roles in football and health, and taught health law and policy, mediation, and legal method in the School of Law at Waikato University. Since 2009, Ms Davies has been an academic staff member in the Faculty of Health & Environmental Sciences, Auckland University of Technology (AUT) where she teaches public health and health promotion and researches public health policy, human rights and social justice. She is also a member of several District Licensing Committees. In 2015, she received a Brian Perry Waikato Regional Sports Award for Service to Sport (football) and in 2016, she received a Vice Chancellors Excellence in Teaching Award. Ms Davies was appointed member of the AUT Academy in 2019.
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.
Susan Isaacs is a mediator in the area of employment, workplace relations, the voluntary sector and other disputes. She volunteers at the Citizens Advice Bureau dealing with migrants, beneficiaries and those with health concerns. She has worked in the public sector on education, health and human rights issues, most recently with the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO. Ms Isaacs has a Master of International Relations from Victoria University of Wellington and a Diploma of Business Studies (Disputes Resolution) from Massey University. She is a member of a minoritygroup, sits on the governing body of that community’s aged care society and chairs an educational charitable trust.
Sandra Kai Fong was formerly a partner in the Rotorua law firm McKechnie Quirke and Lewis and for 26 years practised mainly in the area of civil and commercial litigation. She retired from practice in 2011. Ms Kai Fong has been involved in the grant-making and philanthropic sector for 17 years as a trustee on Baytrust and the Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust providing grants to not-for-profit organisations and groups in the Bay of Plenty and Rotorua region. She was also elected to the board of Philanthropy New Zealand, the peak body for grant making and philanthropy and chaired the Philanthropy NZ Board from 2016 to 2018. In October 2019 Ms Kai Fong was elected as a Councillor to the Rotorua Lakes Council and continues to have business and community interests in Rotorua.
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.
Bronwen Klippel practised as a lawyer in Auckland for more than 30 years, working mainly in the areas of family law, health professional disciplinary work and mediation and was appointed as a part-time member of the Refugee Status Appeals Authority in 2003. Ms Klippel has undertaken community work and voluntary positions including sitting on two school trust boards, mentoring secondary school students, advising Womens' Refuges and Citizen Advice Bureaus, and having extensive involvement with the Auckland Jewish Community.
Malakai Koloamatangi holds a PhD in Political Studies from the University of Auckland. He is Adjunct Professor at the University of Fiji, and Foundation Professor at Lo’au University. He was the inaugural Director, Office for Pacific Excellence and former Acting Director, Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies at the University of Canterbury. He was, until the end of 2019, Associate Professor and Director of the Pasifika Directorate and Co-Director of the Pacific Research and Policy Centre at Massey University. He has researched, commentated and written on human rights, democracy and related issues and has worked to connect research and application, most notably in creating ‘national dialogues’ in the Pacific as an indigenous approach to achieving development goals. His community commitments include, among other things, being President of the Auckland Tongan Community Inc and Chair of the Aotearoa Tongan Council. Mr Koloamatangi was bestowed the traditional hereditary Tongan navigator title, Mafua-‘ae-Lulutai by his Late Majesty King Tupou IV of Tonga in 2006.
Iani Nemani is Tongan and Fijian by descent, migrated to New Zealand as a child from Tonga and cares deeply about New Zealand society. He is an experienced Community Development and Engagement practitioner and is currently working in the housing sector. He has extensive knowledge and experience in social work and community economic development with a specific focus on labour market development, immigration and migrant settlement. In more recent years he was employed as a workplace diversity and inclusion practitioner and prior to that was instrumental in developing a strategy to increase Maori and Pasifika participation in trades training and apprenticeships in one of New Zealand’s leading industry training organisations. He initially trained as a social worker and has qualifications in social work, social policy, economic development and theology. He has served on advisory boards including the Manukau Institute of Technology Pasifika Community Advisory Board and currently serves on the board of trustees for the Pasifika Education Centre and the Patient Whanau Centred Care Council at the Auckland District Health Board and is an active alumni of Leadership New Zealand.
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.
Shail Stewart holds an LLB, and is currently completing a research LLM from the University of Auckland. She is also a New Zealand trained physiotherapist with wide exposure within the spectrum of the health and disability sector from a clinical and governance perspective. Ms Stewart has substantial national and international experience, specifically in Oncology, Haematology and Palliative Care. She has presented at national and international Haematology conferences and completed volunteer seminars and education sessions within these clinical areas. She has served on the New Zealand Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal as a Physiotherapy member since 2015.
Nicola Swain holds a BSc(hons) and PhD from the University of Otago. Both degrees are in Psychology. Associate Professor Swain works at the Dunedin School of Medicine where she lectures and conducts research. Her field of research is Health Psychology with a particular interest in persistent pain. She teaches a range of topics including disability, culture, addiction, development, aging, and behavior. She has served on many boards and recently completed a ten year term on The Health and Disability Ethics Committee. She is currently deputy chair of a school board of trustees, deputy chair of the Medical Sciences Council, steering committee of Pain@Otago, and president of the New Zealand Pain Society.
Kim Workman is from Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa and Rangitāne o Wairarapa. He is a retired public servant, whose career spans roles in the Police, the Office of the Ombudsman, State Services Commission, Department of Māori Affairs, and Ministry of Health. He was Head of the Prison Service from 1989 to 1993. In 2000, Sir Kim was appointed National Director, Prison Fellowship New Zealand, and retired from that position in 2008. In 2005, he was the joint recipient (with Jackie Katounas) of the International Prize for Restorative Justice. He served as a Families Commissioner from 2008 to 2011. In 2006 Sir Kim joined with the Salvation Army, to launch the “Rethinking Crime and Punishment” Project, and in 2011, formed Justspeak, a movement that involves youth in criminal justice reform. Over the last five years, Sir Kim has contributed to the academic literature, in the areas of criminal justice policy, Treaty and Māori development issues, racism and inequality, culture and identity. In February 2018 he was awarded Senior New Zealander of the Year and in 2019 was appointed Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
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