New law commissioners appointed

Publication Date 
03 September 2021

Justice Minister Kris Faafoi has announced the appointment of three new members of Te Aka Matua o te Ture | Law Commission.

The new appointees are:

  • Hon Justice Christian Whata, who has been appointed for a term of one year; beginning on 12 October 2021.
  • Geof Shirtcliffe, who has been appointed for five years; beginning on 6 September 2021.
  • Professor Claudia Geiringer, who will take up her appointment on 2 May 2022.

The Law Commission is an independent Crown entity, whose role includes reviewing New Zealand law and making recommendations for its development and reform.

Minister Faafoi said Justice Whata, Mr Shirtcliffe, and Professor Geiringer all have outstanding legal credentials.

“I am delighted they have accepted appointment to the Law Commission. They all bring complementary skills, which will add to the strength for the Commission,” Kris Faafoi said.

The Minister also acknowledged the service and commitment to the Commission of outgoing Law Commissioner, Associate Professor Donna Buckingham.

“In particular, I want to note Associate Professor Buckingham’s work reviewing the law which governs how DNA is used in criminal investigations and her contribution working with the Ministry of Justice on search and surveillance law,” Kris Faafoi said.

Further information about the appointees:

  • Justice Whata (Ngāti Pikiao and Ngāti Tamateatūtahi) is a High Court Judge since 2011 and has been appointed to undertake a short-term project leading the Commission’s work in relation to tikanga Māori, with a particular focus on the relationship between tikanga Māori and State law.
  • Mr Shirtcliffe, who was previously a corporate partner at the law firm Chapman Tripp specialising in the fields of company and commercial law, will start his work with the Commission leading a project on adult decision-making capacity, Ngā Huarahi Whakatau.
  • Professor Geiringer is the Chair in Public Law at Victoria University and an expert in human rights, and constitutional and administrative law. Professor Geiringer will take up her appointment in May 2022.


Link: ​New law commissioners appointed |