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N E W Z E A L A N D L AW S O C I E T Y

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NEW ZEALAND LAW SOCIETY

From the Law Society We must stand

together Kia ora koutou It is my pleasure as the newly to engage elected Vice-President Central North with all the Island to be writing the introductory challenges and comments for this month’s LawTalk opportunities that the future to introduce myself and comment on a few areas of interest to me. holds... As I am a proud bi-cultural kiwi. illustrated with I was born in South Africa to the challenges Afrikaans parents and came to New faced last year, it is essential Zealand at nine years old. I spent my formative years in rural South Otago that we as a where my father was a rural GP. I group take finished my schooling and underownership for graduate studies in Dunedin, moved the profession as a whole, to Wellington where I worked for central government and an indusbecause try association before moving to ultimately we Taranaki five years ago. I currently stand and fall work as General Counsel and Chief together. of Staff for TSB in New Plymouth where I live with my partner. I have been actively involved with the New Zealand Law Society for several years in various capacities, including several years on the management committee for ILANZ, the in-house section, and the Taranaki Branch Council. I have also been a standing member of the Regulatory Governance Group, taking an active interest in the Law Society’s regulatory activities. Alongside this I was actively involved in advising on AML/CFT Phase 2 and the inclusion of the legal profession, including helping with the Law Society submissions and briefing its Council. In my day job I oversee several key corporate functions, including governance, and have been involved in several governance improvement and organisational realignment projects. I believe this experience will serve me well on the Board. In addition, I believe that I bring a valuable set of perspectives to the Board – an immigrant, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, a provincial lawyer, an in-house counsel, and someone with a roundabout journey to actually working in the profession in which I trained. I am a passionate member of the profession, and believe we are at a critical time. As a profession we need to stand together and fight for our continued success, to retain our proud past but also move into the future. I care about ensuring that we do right by our 6

communities. I care about the welfare of our lawyers, and about ensuring that all parts of our legal community feel cared for, included, and connected to the profession. In building this culture we will also help ensure that we better serve our communities in an inclusive way, which will benefit all of Aotearoa. The Law Society is the central core of the profession, and in the coming years it has an even more important role in driving this future for us all. We must stand together to engage with all the challenges and opportunities that the future holds, and a strong, proactive, and future-focused Law Society sits at the heart of that. As illustrated with the challenges faced last year, it is essential that we as a group take ownership for the profession as a whole, because ultimately we stand and fall together. To succeed at this the Law Society must be the best it can be, both from an operational effectiveness perspective and as a leader for the profession. I feel honoured to have this opportunity to contribute what I can to help achieve this outcome. A particular area of interest is ensuring we have a vibrant profession in our regional centres, to serve our communities, ensure access to justice and provide the collegiality we all need to thrive. The challenges in recruiting good lawyers to regional centres continue in spite of good

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LawTalk 929