Gen­der was no bar to newly named dame

Central Leader - - NEWS -

Jus­tice Ju­dith Pot­ter was ap­pointed a Dame Com­pan­ion of The New Zealand Or­der of Merit for her ser­vices to the ju­di­ciary.

Dame Ju­dith was a judge of the New Zealand High Court from 1997 un­til 2012.

She was the first fe­male pres­i­dent of the New Zealand Law So­ci­ety and was ap­pointed a Com­man­der of the Most Ex­cel­lent Or­der of the Bri­tish Em­pire in 1994 for ser­vices to the le­gal pro­fes­sion.

The Ep­som res­i­dent says New Zealand has led the way for women in the le­gal pro­fes­sion but be­lieves there is room for im­prove­ment.

‘‘We have been a leader since giv­ing women the right to vote in 1893.

‘‘In my prac­tis­ing time, which is over 50 years, I have seen many changes but it is still a chal­lenge to see women at the top of the le­gal pro­fes­sion,’’ she says.

Dur­ing her ca­reer her roles have in­cluded be­ing a di­rec­tor of the Elec­tric­ity Cor­po­ra­tion, a di­rec­tor of the New Zealand Guardian Trust Com­pany and chair­woman of the Broad­cast­ing Stan­dards Author­ity.

Fol­low­ing her re­tire­ment from the New Zealand High Court Dame Ju­dith took her ex­per­tise to the Pa­cific Is­lands.

In 2012 she was ap­pointed a Judge of the High Court of the Cook Is­lands and the Court of Ap­peal of the Pit­cairn Is­lands. Nil­ima Venkatakr­ish­nan has been a vol­un­teer com- mu­nity co-or­di­na­tor for the Min­istry of So­cial Devel­op­ment’s Of­fice for Se­nior Ci­ti­zens since 2006. Mrs Venkatakr­ish­nan was ap­pointed a Mem­ber of The New Zealand Or­der of Merit for ser­vices to se­nior ci­ti­zens and the In­dian com­mu­nity.

Since 1998, she has been ac­tively in­volved in com­mu­nity projects fo­cus­ing on pro­vid­ing good qual­ity aged­care ser­vices, specif­i­cally for older In­dian adults and their fam­i­lies liv­ing in Auck­land.

The Mt Roskill res­i­dent has de­liv­ered Pos­i­tive Age­ing pro­grammes and worked with Hous­ing New Zealand to fa­cil­i­tate the re­set­tle­ment of older peo­ple.

Her con­tri­bu­tions have al­lowed older In­dian and South In­dian com­mu­ni­ties in Auck­land to feel wel­comed, en­gaged and able to con­trib­ute to their com­mu­ni­ties.

Long-serv­ing com­mu­nity worker Anand Naidu was awarded the Queen’s Ser­vice Medal for ser­vices to the In­dian com­mu­nity.

Mr Naidu started do­ing com­mu­nity work upon his ar­rival from Fiji in 1987 when he joined the Auck­land Ra­mayan Sanstha Trust in Man­gere.

He was a mem­ber un­til 2000, serv­ing as pres­i­dent for the last five years.

Through the trust he fundraised to build a com­mu­nity hall in South Auck­land.

The Mt Roskill res­i­dent was ap­pointed a Jus­tice of the Peace in 2000.

In the same year he joined the Waitakere In­dian As­so­ci­a­tion, where he served as a spokesman on re­duc­ing fam­ily vi­o­lence.

His other work in­cludes help­ing es­tab­lish the Waitakere Lan­guage and Cul­ture School and the Waitakere Youth and Sports Group.

Mr Naidu says he felt ‘‘most hum­bled’’ and ac­knowl­edged the im­mense sup­port he has re­ceived from his fam­ily and friends.

Hum­ble: Anand Naidu, Queen’s Ser­vice Medal.


A dame: Jus­tice Ju­dith Pot­ter.

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