Kingi Snelgar is a Māori lawyer from Aotearoa New Zealand. Having secured his LLM at Harvard, he’s now back practicing in Auckland with the team at Mānuka Chambers. Mānuka are four Māori lawyers – all also court-appointed Youth Advocates in the Manukau Youth Court – who are committed to helping their clients navigate the justice system. Here Kingi relays to Sarah some of his frustrations at working within a Pākehā-oriented system, and his concerns as to what that means for Māoridom and the futures and wellbeing of Māori offenders.
The most frightening thing I’ve seen in almost a decade of acting as a criminal lawyer all over the world, was the sight of a 14 year-old boy sitting behind a very large table awaiting the start of his trial for murder at the Auckland High Court. I acted as part of the defence team fighting to keep him from life imprisonment. Continue →