Legal appointments abound on Film and Literature Board

by Miklos Bolza09 Dec 2015
In a recent announcement, Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne has made seven new appointments to the Film and Literature Board of Review – four of whom are lawyers.

Kate Davenport of Auckland is presently a member and has been appointed as President of the Board until her term ends on 13 April 2017.

“I have been a member for a few years and am therefore familiar with the work of the Review Board,” she told NZ Lawyer.

“As President I have the role of turning the decisions that the board reach into a written decision. I have had experience in doing this as I have been writing decisions for a number of years in the various quasi-judicial roles that I have held on tribunals.

“I also bring to the board the qualities that most lawyers possess – open-mindedness, an interest in current affairs and an inquiring mind.”

Davenport has been a barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand since 1983 and continues to hold both positions. She was appointed Queen’s Counsel in May 2013.

She is also the chair of the National Ethics Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technology and deputy chair of the Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal.

Nigel Dunlop of Auckland has been appointed as the Deputy President of the Board for a three-year term.

He is a barrister and mediator, and has practised family law for the past three decades. He is also chair of the Mental Health Review Tribunal and a Real Estates Agents Authority Complaints Assessment Committee, and is a member of the Retirement Villages Adjudication Panel.

“As a longstanding member of the Mental Health Review Tribunal, I am used to weighing and balancing public and private rights and interests,” he told NZ Lawyer when asked why he was appointed as Deputy President of the Board.

“The membership of the MHRT has also given me much experience in sitting on an adjudicative body with non-lawyers, benefiting from their backgrounds and insights and sharing my own, in order to arrive at sound, considered decisions.”

Dunlop also highlighted his experience as a mediator; “I am used to careful and empathetic listening, and appreciate that on any issue there may be many competing arguments, each having some validity.”

Two other lawyers have also been appointed as members of the board: Gillian Ferguson of Dunedin who is a lawyer with experience in human rights and policy development; and Jeff Sissons of Wellington who is the General Counsel for the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions.