New District Court judges make for four sets of Māori judicial siblings

By Kelvin McDonald
New District Court judge Tania Williams-Blyth is the sister of Supreme Court judge, Justice Joe Williams.  Dominico Zapata / Stuff

Two wāhine Māori lawyers were appointed new District Court Judges this week - making for four sets of Māori judicial siblings.

Ngaroma Tahana (Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Mākino, Tapuika) of Rotorua and Tania Williams-Blyth (Ngāti Pukenga, Te Arawa) of Hamilton were announced as judicial appointees by Attorney-General David Parker on Thursday.

With the Clark brothers (Judges Stephen and David Clark) and Paul siblings (Judges Eddie and Rachel Paul), there are now four sets of Māori judicial siblings - Clark, Paul, Williams (Justice Joe Williams and Judge Tania Williams-Blyth) and Tahana (Justice Kiri and Judge Ngaroma Tahana).

Ngaroma Tahana

Judge Tahana's early legal career was with Simpson Grierson in Auckland before moving to Rotorua in 2010 with Gordon Pilditch as a Crown Prosecutor until 2018.  She then joined Kahui Legal becoming a partner in that firm in 2019, specialising in criminal defence and general litigation.

Judge Ngaroma Tahana.  Source / Kahui Legal

Judge Tahana will be sworn in on 15 April and sit at the Manukau District Court.

Tania Williams-Blyth

Judge Williams-Blyth initially worked as a solicitor in Hamilton with Norris Ward, and went on to establish herself as a barrister in Rotorua and more recently Hamilton, practising mostly in the family law area.

She has been a District Inspector for Mental Health since 2008 and a member of the Parole Board since 2014. She has been instrumental in working with iwi leaders and local communities around the country in an effort to increase knowledge and awareness of Family Court and Oranga Tamariki procedures.

Judge Williams-Blyth will be sworn in on 10 June and take up her appointment at the Whangarei District Court.