Rotorua barrister and solicitor Kiri Tahana, Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Makino and Tapuika (Te Arawa), has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today.
Justice Tahana has extensive experience in commercial, corporate (including regulatory and competition) law and litigation experience, along with considerable expertise in advising on matters relating to te Tiriti o Waitangi.
She graduated with an LLB(Hons) and a BA (in Māori and Political Science) from Victoria University of Wellington in 1995 and commenced practice the following year as a solicitor with Bell Gully in Wellington. There she worked on Māori legal issues, including litigation concerning the distribution of Māori fisheries settlement assets.
In 1999, Justice Tahana spent a year with Walters Williams & Co before spending seven years with Gilbert & Tobin in Sydney, interspersed by a year in London at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and two years as Senior Legal Counsel at the Commerce Commission.
That was followed by five years as Senior Director, Legal Counsel at Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company PJSC (du) in the United Arab Emirates.
In 2017, Justice Tahana joined the partnership of Kāhui Legal in Rotorua, becoming Managing Partner in 2019. She has worked closely with Māori land owning entities, post-settlement governance entities and Māori businesses on a range of legal issues including new ventures, governance, structuring, commercial contracts, trusts, Māori land and litigation.