Laura speaks – Kia Ora, hello from New Zealand

03 Dec 2013

The first week of my Pegasus Scholarship, working as counsel for the New Zealand government, is drawing to a close. This is my first blog post about my time here. There is so much I could write about, but I am sure you are not interested in the drawbacks of an open plan office or my expanding waistline due to daily "teas" i.e. cakes and quite outstanding sauvignon blanc.

What I’m most excited about though, is the opportunity I have to experience something completely foreign to English law, but the heritage of which was caused by the British; I am attending a Waitangi Tribunal. That is a tribunal set up to hear the claims by the Māori for breach of the Treaty of Waitangi, often for compensation or with regard to property rights. I will also attend a welcome ceremony, called a powhiri, at a small settling in the deepest darkest middle of the North Island. I also have plans to get to the South Island to see the stunning landscapes and perhaps skydive?

But it’s not all adventures (ahem, fingers might be crossed). I have written an opinion to be sent to the Attorney-General (on day one – nothing like breaking me in gently!), I am off to the Supreme Court to shadow a Supreme Court Judge next week and work on what is essentially a massive housing disrepair case – why does disrepair haunt me even at the other side of the world?

Low point of the week

The weather. I was promised Spring, but it's cold, grey and oh so windy in Welly. Hopefully Spring will arrive soon!

Highlight of the week

Abseiling 11 storeys down into a cave to float along an underground river in the pitch black watching the glow worms.

Until next time!


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