Justice Tahana swearing-in ceremony


Justice Tahana and whānau during the pōwhiri

On Friday 27 May, 2022 more than 400 people gathered at Te Waiiti Marae on the banks of Rotoiti for the swearing-in ceremony of Justice Kiri Tahana, Te Arawa (Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Mākino and Tapuika) as a judge of the High Court.

In the High Court’s 180-year history, this was the first swearing-in ceremony to be held on a marae, and was therefore an important symbol of change in our society, Chief Justice Helen Winkelmann said in her address on the day.

“Just as the law must change to serve an evolving society, so too must our ceremonies.  In my time as a judge, swearing-in ceremonies have changed to reflect that our courts and our law serve a country in the South Pacific – a nation with its own history, custom and values... Today’s ceremony is another important step in that direction as we judges move out of our court buildings and humbly accept an invitation onto the marae.”

Video recordings

Swearing in ceremony of Justice Kiri Tahana

Pōwhiri for Justice Kiri Tahana's swearing in ceremony 


Form of Ceremony

Registrars Lesley Taare and Warren Morgan

“Without fear or favour, affection or ill will”. The Chief Justice witnesses Justice Tahana signing her judicial oath

The High Court sitting on the marae

Justice Layne Harvey presents Justice Tahana with te hoe, Tōangaroa. Tōangaroa is a hoe ākau (steering paddle) which is passed to each new judge joining the Auckland High Court

Media statement

 Media Statement: Chief Justice welcomes new appointments to senior courts




Justice Tahana's sons and nephews performing a haka after Tōangaroa was presented