Lawyers, unsurprisingly, dominate the list of those professions atop the list of candidates in the New Zealand 2020 election.
And in the would-be power lawyers are those from both large and small law firms, unions, inhouse law and several who have law degrees but have never practised law.
LawFuel has put together 42 of the ‘legal’ contenders for the 2020 election from the major, and some minor parties.
On a gender basis, the LawFuel list comprises 23 women.
Also on the list are several who were born overseas, one refugee leader and three from Big Law firms.
Check the list here.
Kiri Allan, Labour
Former public and commercial lawyer and current East Coast candidate Kiri Allan had dropped out of school and worked at KFC before becoming a lawyer, studying at Victoria University and then working for Chen Palmer, before moving to Whakatane to work in law. She has since been heavily involved in new kiwifruit developments on the East Coast and managed a large agriculture and horticulture portfolio on the East Coast.
Camilla Belich, Labour
Belich has worked as an employment lawyer, and won recognition for her role in the high-profile case in the Court of Justice of the European Union about safe working hours. She has worked as a barrister and solicitor at the Public Service Association union and at the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions and in 2017 joined the Wellington employment law firm Bartlett Law as a senior associate and is currently working as a solicitor with the PSA.
Jake Bezzant, National
Cricket enthusiast Jake Bezzant has a law and politics degree but started work as legal ofice for Smart Parking Ltd, before becoming CEO of New Zealand company Parking Sense, which services parking facilities in large facilities, helping to grow the company to become the largest firm of its kind in the world. He is standing in Botany
Chris Bishop, National
One of the key parliamentarians who rolled Simon Bridges in favour of the ill-fated Todd Muller, Chris Bishop is a graduate of Victoria University, Chris Bishop has degrees in both law and English and History. A keen debater, he won 10 intervarsity debating tournaments, including at the Cambridge Union and Sydney Union, and a range of awards for legal argument and oratory. He has clerked as a summer clerk at Russell McVeagh and worked as a tobacco lobbyist prior to entering parliament.
Simon Bridges, National
Dumped by his party this year, Simon Bridges is a former Tauranga-based Crown prosecutor with degrees from LSE and Oxford. He initially worked at Kensington Swan (now Dentons KensingtonSwan) before taking on his Crown work. “Politics was a surprisingly refreshing and positive experience” after his “grimy” court work, he reported.
Rachel Brooking, Labour
Former Anderson Lloyd resource management lawyer of 20 years’ exerpience Rachel Brooking is a list candidate for Labour her clients included tourism, business, councils, iwi, university, and infrastructure projects. She carried out work for the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment and is committed tow orking towards proper planning for climate change.
Simeon Brown, National
Simeon Brown has a joint law and commerce degree but has worked principally in banking, as well as serving as an elected representative in local government. He studied at the University of Auckland, completing a Law and Commerce conjoint degree.
Carmel Claridge, ACT
A qualified lawyer and small business owner, Carmel Claridge has been a founding member of the Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance and is chair of environmental groups Friends of Pourewa Valley and Tāmaki Estuary Environment Forum.
Judith Collins, National
She may have lost her run for presidency of the New Zealand Law Society in 1999, losing out to president
but Judith Collins is now leader of the main opposition party. A former Simpson Grierson lawyer who also completed a Master of Taxation course she was President of the ADLS. She apparently wanted to make a difference “at a more macro level”.
Teall Crossen, Greens
Teall Crossen has handled legal work for such environmental groups as Green Peace and Forest & Bird before becoming a senior solicitor with the Department of Conservation and handling Resource Management and related matters. She has also been Chair of the Government Legal Network International Law Practice Group. She is standing in the Rongotai electorate.
Mark Crofskey, National
Former lawyer Mark Crofskey has worked for major law firms like Skadden Arps, Herbert Smith and PwC Legal before returning home after 18 years’ corporate law experience and working in his own legal consultancy in 2018. He is standing for the Rimutaka electorate.
Barbara Edmonds, Labour
Tax lawyer Barbara Edmonds is Mana candidate and has helped heavily shape the government’s tax, social policy and small business and economic responses to COVID-19. A former IRD lawyer she has been most recently senior advisor to a Government Minister and was a key contributor to the Government’s law reforms following the March 15 Terror Attacks.
Golriz Ghahraman, Greens
Iranian born Ghahraman came to New Zealand with her parents as refugees. She completed a BA at Auckland University before obtaining degree in International Human Rights Law from Oxford. She worked as a human rights barrister in New Zealand and for the UN as both the defence and prosecution teams with the tribunals in Rwanda, Cambodia and The Hague.
Harete Hipango, National
A lawyer who served on the Wanganui Regional Health Board and has taken a strong interest in abortion and child care issuesd, she is the first Maori to represent National in the Wanganui seat.
Emily Henderson, Labour
Family lawyer Emily Henderson, a mother of four, works as a consultant for Whangārei law firm Henderson Reeves, of which her father Stuart was a founder, alongside her research which examines whether techniques used by family court lawyers do more harm than good, according to an NZ Herald article on the newcomer to politics.
Paulo Garcia, National
Garcia was born in San Juan, Philippines and studied in the US before working as a barrister in the Philippines for 10 years and moving to New Zealand to practice immigration law. After moving to New Zealand, he practised immigration law with a focus on investor migration.After initially working for McLeod & Associates and Corban Revell Lawyers, he established his own firm, Garcia Law.
Eru Kapa-Kingi, Maori Party
Former Judge’s Clerk this year and Chapman Tripp summer clerk Eru Kapa-Kingi is a recent law graduate and a former Victoria University lecturer in Maori Studies.
Liam Kernaghan, National
Having worked with Simon Bridges, Dunedin’s Liam Kernaghan has a firm understanding of what politics is all about.
A former university tutor at Otago University he is also a pipe band director in true Southern fashion.
Marja Lubeck, Labour
The former flight attendant who immigrated to New Zealand from the Netherlands, studied law part time at the AUT and became a lawyer in 2014, subsequently working in the aviation union sector.
Ingrid Leary, Labour
Former journalist and lawyer Ingrid Lear is Labour’s Taieri candidate. She received the New Zealand Special Service Medal for her broadcasting work in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami in Aceh. She later served as the director of the British Council New Zealand for 11 years.
Stephanie Lewis, Labour
Wanganui lawyer Stephanie Lewis grew up between Kaitoke Prison village, where her father worked as a prison officer, and her family’s farm in Waverley. She has been a lawyer, an advocate, an investigator, and currently works as a privacy advisor.
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Andrew Little, Labour
A graduate in law and philosophy, Justice Minister Andrew Little headed the Victoria University Students’ Association and New Zealand Union of Students Association. After graduation he became a lawyer with the Engineers Union. Prompted to enter the law after being stimulated by the Arthur Allan Thomas case as a teen.
Claire Mahon, Labour
A human rights lawyer, Clair Mahon is founder and director of the Global Human Rights Group, a social enterprise founded in Geneva, now operating out of New Zealand and Switzerland, comprising of a boutique international consulting firm, Global Human Rights Consultants, she is a law graduate from the Australian National University and the Michigan Law School. She is a candidate for Rotoura.
James McDowall, ACT
Immigration lawyer James MacDowall has helped shape the ACT policy on firearms and as owner of small businesses apart from his law firm, he works for a large NGO in the mental health sector.
“I’m a classical liberal who is skeptical of big Government. My experience in business and the community sector has taught me that Government has a role but when it oversteps that role it becomes part of the problem rather than the solution.”
Joseph Mooney, National
Queenstown trial lawyer is standing for the Southland electorate. He is on the Southland Branch Council of the New Zealand Law Society. He was appointed in 2017 by the Deputy Solicitor General to the Crown Prosecution Panel for the Invercargill Crown Solicitor.
Tureiti Moxon, Maori Party
Chair of the National Urban Maori Authority and a member of the Waitangi Tribunal, Lady Tureiti Moxon is a Waikato University law graduate and worked for McCaw Lewis Chapman before becoming actively involved in Maori health and housing issues. She is now Managing Director of Health Provider Te Kohao Health.
Stuart Nash, Labour
Never a practising lawyer, Stuart Nash has held a wide variety of both jobs and degrees (forestry and business management being two) but including a Master of Laws obtained from AUT in 2015, thus celebrating degrees from universities at Canterbury, Auckland and Victoria.
Shai Navot Opportunities
Shai Navot has handled Crown prosecution work focused on weathertightness claims for the Ministry of Education, as well as working as a Crown prosecutor for four years until 2019.As part of the Crown Specialist team in Auckland, she advised on and conducted prosecutions on behalf of various government departments and acted as Crown counsel in criminal prosecutions, including conducting jury trials as lead counsel for the Crown.
Denis O’Rourke, NZ First
Christchurch lawyer Denis O’Rourke has been described as “abrasive” and developed an interest in politics due to his opposition to Sir Robert Muldoon. Originally with the Labour Party he then grew dissatisfied with the policies of Helen Clark and joined New Zealand First where he has been ranked seventh on the list.
David Parker, Labour
Number 1 in the LawFuel Power List, Attorney General David Parker is a former Anderson Lloyd lawyer and businessman who has ascended the Labour hierarchy. He co-founded the Dunedin Community Law Centre, worked for Anderson Lloyd (when it was Anderson Lloyd Caudwell and then entered business working as manager of biotech company Blis Technology.
David Patterson, National
Chapman Tripp commercial law and tax partner David Patterson is National’s Rongotai candidate. Previously a two-decade partner at Minter Ellison Rudd Watts, he has criticised the government’s economic lockdown and its effects upon the country.
Chris Penk, National
With a father who is Associate Dean at Auckland Law School and as lawyer brother, Chris Penk became a lawyer after leaving the New Zealand Navy where he served as an officer on HMNZS Te Kaha and as aide-de-camp for Governor General (and former Judge) Dame Silvia Cartwright. He worked in his own firm Ong & Penk for two years until 2017.
See The Power Law List 2020
Winston Peters, NZ First
Perhaps the best known and certainly the longest-serving member of Parliament, Winston Peters’ turbulent parliamentary career began in 1979 when he was with National, but it was in 1993 that he founded the populist New Zealand First party and now finds himself facing another challenge to remain in parliament as his party’s polling shows declining numbers. However, the former Russell McVeagh solicitor (1974-78) is not known as a survivor for nothing and one of his greatest challenges continues to unfold.
Donna Pokere-Phillips, Maori Party
With a strong involvement in Maori law issues including environmental and Maori land issues, Donna Pokere-Phillips has worked as a Waitangi Tribunal advisor and for the Ministry of Justice. She runs her own consultancy in environmental, tax and land matters.
Willow-Jean Prime, Labour
Northland candidate Willow-Jean Prime has a background in law, advocacy and Māori and community development. In her maiden speech at Parliament, she said “.. I am proudly bicultural. I am proudly bilingual. I am here to uphold Te Tiriti o Waitangi. It is who we are. It is all of us.”
Jenny Salisa, Labour
Tongan-born Jenny Salisa graduated from the University of Auckland with a BA/LLB in 1996 and has a quarter century working as a public servant, principally in the health and education sector, as well as working in the United States where she implemented and spread to other cities an evidence-based health initiative developed in Michigan.
John Tamihere, Maori
John Tamihere is Chief Executive of the Waipareira Trust and is co-leader of the Maori Party since April 2020. After graduating from Auckland University he worked After graduating, he started work for the Māori Land Court and the Department of Māori Affairs. His high profile has been established through his having been selected as Person of the Year by The Sunday Star-Times, New Zealander of the Year by North & South magazine, and Man of the Year by Metro magazine.
Vanushi Walters, Labour
Sri Lankan New Zealander Vanushi Walters has worked for nine years in the community law sector and spent six years as an International Board member of Amnesty International. She has worked in private practice, the public sector and the community sector and is currently a Senior Manager at the Human Rights Commission. She is standing for North Harbour.
Duncan Webb, Labour
Former University of Canterbury lecturer and lawyer and former Lane Neave partner, Webb has also worked for the Public Interest Project, which seeks to get innocent people out of jail, and for the Howard League. LawFuel interviewed him last year.
Helen White, Labour
Employment barrister Helen White handles employment court and ERA cases, having previously worked as a barrister for unions and been involved with the Labour Party for years, but this is her first stand for parliamentary candidate. She has a Bachelor of Arts in history and a law honours degree from Auckland University. “As a lawyer, I’ve stood up to a whole lot of big businesses – I know how important it is to be brave and to stand up to those forces and how powerful those forces are.”
Arena Williams, Labour
The controversial Labour candidate for Manurewa was a late nomination and saw a QC’s opinion sought by Louisa Wall, who previously held the seat. The young mother is also a member of the Waitematā District Health Board and of Unitec Institute of Technology’s Rūnanga.
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