The first Maori Judge on the Supreme Court, Justice Joe Williams has been made Knights companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit
Joseph Victor Williams was made a knights companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit as part of the 2020 New Year Honours for his services to the judiciary.
Justice Williams, of Ngāti Pūkenga and Te Arawa (Waitaha, Tapuika), replaced Supreme Court judge Justice Sir William Young, who is chairing the Royal Commission of Inquiry Christchurch mosque attacks.
In 1988, Justice Williams established the first unit specialising in Māori issues in a major New Zealand law firm at Kensington Swan.
He became a partner there in 1992, before leaving in 1994 to co‑found Walters Williams & Co in Auckland and Wellington.