Caren Fox

Deputy Chief Judge (Maori Land Court), Ministry of Justice

Deputy Chief Judge Caren Fox (nee Wickliffe) was appointed in 2000 as a judge of the Māori Land Court resident in the Tairawhiti and Waiariki districts. She was also appointed as an alternate Environment Court judge in 2009. She was then appointed deputy chief judge of the Māori Land Court in February 2010. Judge Fox has been the presiding officer for numerous historical and contemporary claims in the Waitangi Tribunal – one of which contributed to the Kaingaroa Forest Settlement with the Central North Island Tribes and another led to the first national Aquaculture Treaty Settlement. She is currently the presiding officer for the Porirua ki Manawatu claims.

A specialist in international human rights, Judge Fox was a Harkness Fellow to the USA from 1991 to 1992 and a Pacific Fellow in Human Rights Education employed by the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation from 1997 to 1999. For her work in human rights, she won the New Zealand Human Rights Commission 2000 Millennium Medal. She was made a Distinguished Fellow of the Faculty of Law, Victoria University in 2022. She has also recently completed her Doctorate in Indigenous Studies.

In addition to her work, Judge Fox has been a Board Member of the International Oral History Association, a member of the NZ Women Judges’ Association, a member of the Maori Advisory Committee of the New Zealand Law Commission and a member of the Māori Law Society. She is also asked to speak frequently at national events and occasionally at international events, such as early in 2022 speaking to the United Nations General Assembly on International Mother Earth Day.

She is a competitive outrigger canoeist and was on the Board for Wakaama NZ for two years as it transitioned from a club led organisation to a professional sporting body.