Auckland law firm Wackrow Williams & Davies is one of this year’s new finalists announced by the Māori Language Commission for the Māori Language Awards.
Director Te Kani Williams says, “The majority of their work is with the Waitangi Tribunal, where they present their clients' cases in Māori, as requested by them.”
He says he began using Māori nearly 20 years ago for Ngāi Tūhoe and their Urewera Claim, as Māori is their first language, and they wanted their case to be explained in Māori.
There are three other lawyers at the firm who speak Māori. The newest member, Coral Panoho (Ngāti Hako, Ngāpuhi) says, “To me it’s important to present our clients' cases to the Waitangi Tribunal in Māori, so the judges and panel clearly understand their concerns and issues.”
This year's awards night will be hosted by Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori and Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated, with the winners announced on November 21 at Pettigrew-Green Arena in Napier.