Faculty of Law appoints two new academic staff

12 July 2012

Natalie and Claire for web
Claire Charters and Natalie Coates

The Dean of Law, Dr Andrew Stockley, is delighted to announce the appointment of two new academic staff members to the Faculty of Law, Claire Charters and Natalie Coates.

Natalie, who became a Lecturer in Law in August, graduated from the University of Otago with a Bachelor of Law and a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Maori Studies (both Honours, First Class), and has recently obtained her LLM from Harvard University.

From Whakatane, Natalie’s iwi are Ngati Awa, Ngati Hine, Tuhoe, Te Arawa and Ngati Tuwharetoa. She has worked as an intern at Te Runanga o Ngati Awa, as a law clerk at Aurere Law (a Maori law firm in Rotorua), and part-time for Victoria University as a research assistant on the Legal Maori Project.

On taking up her new role she says, “Tino harikoa taku ngakau ki te tae mai ki te Whare Wananga o Tamaki Makarau hei mahi tahi i te taha o nga rangatira o te tari ture. Ko toku tino hiahia ko te tutaki i nga tauira o te Whare Wananga, a, ki te awhina ki te whakapakari i te pae o te Tai Haruru.

(“I feel extremely privileged to be joining the Faculty of Law and am excited about teaching and meeting some of the bright and dynamic students that the law school has. I also look forward to being a part of the Te Tai Haruru whanau and making a contribution to the development of Maori legal scholarship.”)

Claire Charters, who becomes a Senior Lecturer in Law in July 2013, was brought up in Rotorua and is from Ngati Whakaue, Tuwharetoa, Nga Puhi and Tainui. She focused on indigenous peoples’ rights when studying for her LLB (Honours, First Class), LLM and PhD at Otago, New York, and Cambridge universities respectively. She also has a BA in German from Otago.

Claire has acted for Ngati Whakaue and other iwi and international indigenous organisations since she first graduated. She was appointed to the Victoria University Law Faculty in 2002 and has an extensive teaching and publication record.

Claire currently works in the Indigenous Peoples and Minorities Section of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). She has advocated internationally on indigenous peoples’ rights for over a decade and has been contracted to provide advice on such issues in New Zealand, North America and Europe.

Commenting on her appointment Claire says she is “excited to be joining such a great Law School and teaching and researching indigenous rights again from a Maori/Aotearoa perspective.”

She goes on to say “while Aotearoa's approach to Maori legal issues is insightful, both positively and negatively, for other nations dealing with similar issues, Aotearoa also has much to learn from an international and comparative perspective on indigenous issues, especially in relation to the constitutional review taking place. I’d like to contribute to that dialogue.”