Aotearoa has marked another first for women: our first wāhine appointed as chair of the Waitangi Tribunal.
The news gets better, the new Chair is one of our own inspiring members, Court Chief Judge Caren Fox!
It’s a poetic following on from another two ‘firsts’ for Caren—and Aoteaora as a whole. Caren, the Chief Judge of the Māori Land Court (by way of an appointment in July after acting in the role since early in the year) was also the very first woman in that position. 23 years prior, Caren was also the first wāhine Māori appointed, before becoming Deputy Chief Judge in 2010.
So, with all these incredible feathers in Caren’s cap, what’s in store for the next chapter? We know that her tenure will be for five years, however, what happens next will be guided by Chief Judge Caren’s unwavering understanding of the treaty and her spirit of excellence.
It’s this very essence that was shared by Associate Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta during Chief Judge Caren’s announcement: saying the move came “after two decades of [Chief Judge Fox] presiding on numerous historical, urgency and kaupapa treaty claims” (RadioNZ).
The Global Women community wishes Chief Judge Caren the very best for this chapter, in which she will no doubt carve an impressive example in the path to Nationhood.