Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aotearoa / New Zealand Māori Law Society (“THRMOA”) was formally established in 1988 and held its first hui at Tunohopu Marae in Rotorua. Since then our organisation has grown enormously and our THRMOA membership includes legal practitioners, judges, parliamentarians, legal academics, policy analysts, researchers and Māori law students.
THRMOA was originally established to provide an annual opportunity for Māori lawyers to discuss and debate issues relevant to Māori, and this has remained the central focus for our organisation and our annual hui.
The Kaupapa / Vision for THRMOA is expressed as being Mā te Ture, Mō te Iwi – By the Law, For the People. Inevitably Māori law graduates, regardless of where and how we utilise our legal skills, have a mutual desire to effect change through the law within and for our Iwi, and, we are ultimately responsible to our Iwi. Iwi for THRMOA relates to both our tribal identity and to our Māori legal community.
It was agreed from the outset that our Executive Committee would move from region to region and that we would strive to have membership from across the country. The Executive maintains a database of Māori legal practitioners and Māori law graduates, ensures the effective networking of members, makes submissions on a range of policies and proposed legislation, ensures representation of its membership on various committees and organises an annual national hui.
Past Tumuaki of THRMOA
- 1988 – 1991 John Chadwick, inaugural President and Life Member
- 1991 – 1993 Whaimutu Dewes
- 1993 – 1997 Gina Rudland
THRMOA changes its rules to require Female and Male Co-Presidents
- 1997 – 1999 Craig Coxhead & Ani Mikaere
- 1999 – 2001 Tavake Afeaki & La-Verne King
- 2001 – 2002 Tavake Afeaki & Metiria Turei
- 2002 – 2003 Matanuku Mahuika & Mereana Hond
- 2004 – 2005 Matanuku Mahuika & Dayle Takitimu
- 2005 – 2006 Stephen Clark & Dayle Takitimu (resigned March 2006)
- 2006 – 2008 Ngaroma Tahana and Te Kani Williams
- 2008 – 2010 Jolene Patuawa & Damian Stone
- 2011 & 2012 Liana Poutu & Tama Potaka
- 2013 & 2014 Ani Bennett & Spencer Webster
- 2015 & 2016 Rachel Mullins & Aidan Warren
- 2017 & 2018 Tavake Afeaki & Ophir Cassidy
- 2018 & 2019 Marcia Murray & Glenn Tootill