In 2019 the incoming Chief Justice of New Zealand broke with protocol and in doing so set two justice juggernauts on a collision course.
Dame Helen invited Auckland City Missioner, Chris Farrelly, to give the speech in reply at her swearing in.
In his speech, Chris quoted poet and civil rights activist MayaAngelou, paying tribute to the new Chief Justice as both a “composition and a composer” – someone who not only composes the future of their own life but also helping the future of everyone around her.
The speech inspired Erin Ebborn and Jarrod Coburn to write to the City Missioner, seeking ways to assist their clients access justice. After 18 months of discussion and planning an operational MOU was
signed between Auckland City Mission and Portia, with a commitment to support clients of the Mission who are most at risk. The first initiative is to provide free wills for homeless individuals at high risk of mortality, assisting the Mission to continue providing them dignity in death.
Portia’s VLaw® system will be used to enable urgent applications to be sought under the PPPR, Family Violence and Care of Children Acts. An audiovisual link will also enable training sessions to be undertaken and the learning will be both ways, as Portia staff upskill on the particular
Chris Farrelly the Auckland City Missioner. Source: NZHerald.co.nz
issues and barriers faced by the Mission’s client base, a very different situation to our women’s refuge partners.
Portia’s Jarrod Coburn sees the new arrangement as “a very significant step” in the role law firms will play in building trust and legitimacy within the justice system. When people lead by example then others often are compelled to follow. Chris Farrelly and the Chief Justice together presented a wero to the profession. Nobody should be afraid to pick up the taki.