Sunday, June 20, 2021
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Taonga To Be Allowed In Courts

The New Zealand Law Society | Te Kāhui True o Atoearoa
is delighted with the announcement that taonga are able to
be worn in Court instead of neckties.

Earlier today
the Chief Justice released interim guidance on the wearing
of culturally significant decorative taonga as part of
business attire for counsel appearing in all proceedings in
all courts. This will include court staff.

“This is a
significant step for Aotearoa New Zealand and one we have
been seeking. It is one of many steps we must take towards
having a justice system which reflects us as a country,”
says Law Society President Tiana Epati.

“In March I
wrote to the Chief District Court Judge following the change
to rules in Parliament.

“A Gisborne lawyer had
recently sought leave to wear his taonga to Court and I
highlighted his story on LinkedIn.

“This received an
overwhelmingly positive reaction. There was feedback from
hundreds of lawyers supporting the wearing of taonga in
Court. Some of the comments referred to the need to make
court an inclusive place, and that allowing the wearing of
taonga was a step towards that goal.

“One lawyer told
me he was looking forward to the day when permission
didn’t have to be sought, and many others expressed their
desire to wear taonga in Court.

announcement is an important move towards creating a more
inclusive environment in our Courts to better reflect our

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