National | High Court

Māori Land Court Judge Layne Harvey appointed to the High Court

Justice Layne Harvey has been appointed to the High Court.  Photo / AUT

Justice Harvey, of Ngāti Awa, Rongowhakaata, Te Aitanga a Māhaki, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Te Wairoa, and Te Whānau a Apanui descent, will sit in Auckland High Court following his appointment by Attorney-General David Parker.

He graduated from the University of Auckland in 1992 and began his legal career as a law clerk with Simpson Grierson in Auckland. Five years later he joined Walters Williams & Co, and became a partner there in 2000. His primary focus as a lawyer was on Māori and Treaty of Waitangi issues.

He also has a Master of Commercial Law from the University of Auckland, and in 2018 was the first PhD graduate of the AUT Law School. His thesis, Would the Proposed Reforms Affecting Ahu Whenua Trusts Have Impeded Hapū in the Development of Their Lands? A Ngāti Awa Perspective examined the management of Māori land trusts from the perspective of there Ngāti Awa hapū.

He has been a judge of the Māori Land Court since 2002. Based in Rotorua, he has been the resident judge in the Aotea and Tākitimu districts, covering New Plymouth, Te Hāwera, Whanganui, Turangi and Hastings.

Justice Harvey is the chairperson of the board of Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, and has been chairman of Te Reo Irirangi o Te Mānuka Tūtahi Trust, which manages Tūmeke FM in Whakatāne, and is also a trustee of Te Tira Whakaari Trust based in Gisborne which is involved in providing community-based education on the influence of Te Kooti Rikirangi.

He co-authored Mataatua - Te Whare I Hoki Mai with Sir Hirini Moko Mead, Pouroto Ngaropo and Te Onehau Phillis, chronicling the history of the Mataatua wharenui that was returned to Whakatāne in 2011 after more than 135 years, and travelling across the globe.

Justice Harvey also sits on the Waitangi Tribunal, where he has presided over the South Island Landless Natives, Offender Assessment Policies, Petroleum and Taihape District Inquiry claims.

He has also been an alternate Judge of the Environment Court.