Top judge rules taonga may be worn in courts

By Te Ao - Māori News

Pictured: Manaaki Terekia, Heather Vaughn, Mana Taumaunu, and Tiana Epati. Supplied / Zara Staples Photography

Te Tumu Whakawā Chief Justice Helen Winkelmann says lawyers and other officials may wear culturally significant decorative taonga instead of ties in all courts – as long as they button up their shirts.

This applies to all judicial officers, court staff, stakeholders and all others who perform official roles in business attire in all courts in Aotearoa.

The chief judge has ruled that, as with neckties, taonga are to be worn with a shirt that has the top button done up.

She says “taonga” in this context is intended to refer to a decorative item of special Māori cultural significance that is worn around a person’s neck.

The overriding requirement is that conduct and attire demonstrate respect for the Court and those participating in its proceedings, she says.