District Court Judge Heemi Taumaunu has been appointed as the deputy judge advocate general of the Court Martial of New Zealand.
Taumaunu – who last year received international recognition for his key role in the development of the Rangatahi Courts, Ngā Kōti Rangatahi o Aotearoa – was a regular force cadet. He also served as a soldier and later as a non-commissioned officer in the Royal NZ Signals Corps. He has been a judge of the Court Martial since 2012.
Delegated powers by the judge advocate general, the official is responsible for ensuring the proper administration of armed forces law. His responsibilities include investigating complaints by the members of the armed forces, appointing judge advocates to sit in courts martial, and considering and reporting on the proceedings of courts martial.
Taumaunu was admitted as a barrister and solicitor in 1993. He practiced criminal and family law in Gisborne until his appointment to the District Court bench in 2004.
Taumaunu was instrumental in the creation of the Rangatahi Courts. He oversaw the development protocols of the first Rangatahi Court in Gisborne in 2008. He has since encouraged other judges to establish other marae-based courts.
Judge Heemi Taumaunu
Image from the Upper Hutt City Library Heritage Collections
NZ judge gets international award for Māori youth justice advocacy
New High Court judge appointed