30th Annual Meeting


President Philip K. Mautino (Barbara)
Judge Richard Frazee (Elaine)
Judge Tully Seymour (Jan)
Judge Thomas Thrasher (Sande)
Diane Z. Bowen, Executive Secretary

Mrs. Dorothy Kolts (widow of Hon. James G. Kolts)
Mrs. Jean Godfrey (widow of Hon. Otis Godfrey)
Mrs. Marjorie Love (widow of Hon. Miron Love)
Mrs. Rhonda Cocca

MONDAY: The Academy group arrived in Auckland at 11:20 p.m. and were transferred to the Heritage Hotel.  New Zealand is one of the most isolated countries in the world.  The Maoris, the first arrivals, called it Aotearoa, “the land of the long white cloud,” the first indication to these voyagers of the presence of the islands being the cloud lying above them.  New Zealand’s island location affects its climate, its history, and its contemporary character and people.

TUESDAY: In the afternoon the group took an Auckland City tour, including a Maori Cultural show at the Auckland Museum.  As a trip memento, each member of the group was  presented with an umbrella containing the Academy logo.  

Two-thirds of New Zealand’s (N.Z.) 3.9 million people live in the North Island, and one million live in Auckland, the country’s largest city and the world’s most populous Polynesian center.  Captain James Cook charted the main islands of N.Z. in 1769 and in 1840 the British declared N.Z. a colony and signed the Treaty of Waitangi with Maori chiefs. 

In the evening the group held its Welcome Dinner at the Orbit Sky Tower revolving restaurant, Auckland’s 1,076 foot broadcasting and telecommunications facility, as well as the tallest building in the southern hemisphere, which commands a 360̊ view for 50 miles.

WEDNESDAY: In the morning the group walked to Waitemata Harbor to sail aboard the Pride of Auckland.  After sailing (wherein several members shared the helm), the group visited the Maritime Museum which housed exhibits of Polynesian navigators, whalers, and 20th century immigrants who came to N.Z. in ships.  The afternoon was free.

In the evening as part of a special civic project, members of the Auckland Rotary Club hosted Academy members, in groups of four, to dinner in their homes.  The judges found this very enjoyable.  Each group was served a variety of local cuisine, including Pavlova, a special N.Z. cake.

THURSDAY: In the morning the group visited the University of Auckland, School of Law, in Eden Crescent, and met with Dean Julie Maxton, Deputy Dean Peter Watts, Dr. Rosemary Tobin, and Professors Caroline Foster, Warren Brookbanks, Paul Sumpter, Rick Bigwood and Scott Optican.  The majority of the students at the University are New Zealanders, but the school is attracting increasing numbers of overseas students, and is hosting many overseas visiting professors.  Increasing student body diversity and interests compliment the curriculum, and record numbers of graduates are participating in postgraduate studies in prestigious universities in other parts of the world.

An LLB Degree is a four-year degree for full-time students, with the first three years being compulsory courses and the fourth year a range of elective law courses, i.e., criminal, commercial, international.  The Law School also offers Conjoint Degrees, such as BA/LLB (Arts), Bcom/LLB (Commercial), BHS/LLB (Health Science).

The Law School also has “Special Quotas” for Maori, Indigenous Pacific Islands Residents and Disabled Students.  Tuition fees in 2003 were approximately $3,850 for a full-time student each semester with a load of fourteen points.  There are approximately 2,000 students at the Law School.  There are five law schools in N.Z., four are associated with the University.

Senior Lecturer Scott Optician from California, escorted the group on a tour of the Davis Law Library.  Scott has a JD degree from Harvard, a Masters Degree in Criminology from the University of Cambridge, and is a former prosecutor with the New York County District Attorney’s Office.  He specializes in evidence, criminal procedure and the Bill of Rights.  The Davis Law Library is N.Z.’s largest with 120,000 print volumes, 29,200 microfilms and “Law Online” “Rō Waea Pānui Ture” access to numerous databases and e-journals.  The library offers complete electronic research facilities to the students.

The Academy group enjoyed tea with the Dean and Professors and an exchange of information, including the recent change in the appellate structure for N.Z. which caused a great split in legal circles around the country.  The Privy Council, the court of last resort, previously based in London, will now be eliminated.  Procedures are being set up to establish a Supreme Court in lieu of the Privy Council.  The Professors “think” it will include five justices and one chief judge.  An issue still requiring resolution is that the Privy Council was available without charge.  The cost for a Supreme Court has been estimated at $325,000 each year for judges’ salaries alone, and additional monies will be needed for staff.  It was estimated that 20-30 cases went to the Privy Council each year. 

It is the opinion of the professors that there is a “Batson”problem in N. Z. Courts, and little control over peremptory challenges which can be used racially.  Miranda warnings are currently being developed.  Civil cases have juries only for defamation; there is a three-judge tort system for damages; there are no personal injury punitive damages, personal injury recovery is for medical and property damage only.  An Alternative Dispute Resolution system is just beginning to be developed in N.Z. 

Academy President, Judge Mautino, presented a check for $1,000 to Dean Maxton as a donation to the School of Law to be used for educational purposes, and Academy umbrellas were also given to Scott Optician, Assistant Dean Watts and Dean Maxton.

In the afternoon the Academy members visited the New Zealand High Court, located in the Waterloo Quadrant Courthouse, where they met with the Hon. Justice Anthony P. Randerson.  The group was taken to the ceremonial courtroom of the original Supreme Court which was built in 1865.  The High Court was known as the Supreme Court until 1980.  The High Court has jurisdiction over major crimes and civil claims involving more than $200,000.  It deals with judicial reviews of administrative actions and admiralty proceedings.  The High Court also frequently hears appeals from tribunals and lower courts, including District Courts.  

The Chief Justice, who is the head of the N.Z. Judiciary, sits in both the High Court and the Court of Appeal. The Chief Justice represents the Judiciary in dealing with the Department for Courts and other government agencies and is responsible for the management of the work of the High Court Judges.  There are thirty-six High Court Judges in N.Z. with courts located in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch.  The Judges also travel to thirteen other circuits from Whangarei to Invercargill.

New civil statutes went into effect November 24, 2003 regarding Credit, Contracts and Consumer Finance, and the Injury Compensation statute, which deals with personal injury claims, went into effect in 2001.  Most of the judges of the High Court are “generalist” judges and hear all types of cases.  Four of the judges specialize in commercial litigation, such as “any commercial dispute that may affect the economy,” i.e. copyright infringement, Telecom companies.  N.Z. law is based more on Australian and Canadian law than American jurisprudence.  

After meeting with Justice Randerson, Academy members visited Justice Randerson’s court and watched the jury trial which had been ongoing for two months involving four defendants charged with murder, attempted murder, and aggravated robbery.  During a trial the record is typed “verbatim” by the “Court Taker.” The typing is transmitted to an audio digital evidence recording in Wellington and within ten minutes is transcribed into a transcript and sent back to the courtroom.  It is generated to a “Court Crier” who passes the pages to the attorneys and the Court as they are printed.

At the afternoon break Academy members were taken to the Judges’ Conference room/Library/Dining room for afternoon tea. High Court Judges McGechan, Nicholson, Salmon, Chambers, Heath, Fisher, Harrison, Baragwanath, Masters, Lang, Faire and Sargisson joined the group for informal discussions.  Academy President, Judge Mautino, presented Justice Randerson with an Academy umbrella as a thank you gift.  At a later date Academy members voted to invite Justice Randerson to become an Honorary Member of the Academy.  

FRIDAY: In the morning the group left for Rotorua, and along the way the  toured the Waitomo Caves, consisting of a 28-mile network of underground limestone caves and grottos linked to the Waitomo River.  After walking through three levels of the cave, the Banquet Chamber, Pipe Organ and Cathedral, the group boarded small boats which floated through grottos containing neon blue glowworms.  At the Crosshills Farm homestead, a buffet lunch was prepared and hosted by the owner on her patio overlooking fields, ponds and spring-blooming gardens.  The group arrived at Rotorua in the evening.

SATURDAY: In the morning the group left for a full day of sightseeing around Rotorua.  According to Maori legend, three migration canoes traveling from “Hawaiki” landed in the eastern Bay of Plenty in the 14th Century.  Mild weather and abundant seafood encouraged Maoris to settle along the coastal regions.  Rotorua is the major centre of Maori culture.  The group visited the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve and took a tram-guided tour including the Pohutu (Big Splash) Geyser which typically erupts 10-25 times a day up to 98 feet high, and Geyser Flat, a silica terrace which contains more than 500 thermal features, including seven geysers.  The tour ended at the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute where the group observed the wood carving school, and enjoyed shopping in the gift store.

The group next went to the Agrodome Show, featuring world champion rams, sheep shearing and sheep dog trials demonstrations, then on to Rainbow Springs Park for a guided tour through freshwater streams filled with rainbow, brown, and tiger trout.  The highlight of the tour was seeing Kiwis in a walk-through aviary.

The afternoon was free for members to explore Rotorua.  In the evening the group went to a Hangi Buffet dinner and concert at Maori Village, a replica of a pre-European Maori Village.  Judge Mautino, as the group’s representative, was greeted by a “fierce” Maori warrior, whereupon he was made a “Chief.”  Members enjoyed the concert and dinner after which they toured the shops selling traditional Maori carvings and weavings.

SUNDAY: The group flew to Christchurch and enjoyed lunch at the historic Mono Vale home, built in 1899 and situated along the banks of the Avon River.  After lunch the group toured the gardens and took a city tour of Christchurch, which included a visit to the International Antarctic Centre, which is the base for the N.Z., U.S. and Italian Antarctic Programs.  The exhibits included exploration and geology of Antartica.

MONDAY: In the morning the group left for a full day of sightseeing in the Southern Alps.  The first stop was the Sandown/Rowallen homestead for a wool shed and sheep shearing demonstration and morning tea at the homestead.  The bus then headed into the Alps and members took their “first” jet boat ride through the Waimakariri Gorge before continuing to the Arthur’s Pass National Park.  The road climbed steeply to the 3,100 foot level in Porters Pass before passing through wide tussock-covered basins, limestone outcroppings, and mountain beech forests. 

Lunch was at the Chalet Restaurant, located at the top of the Pass where snow was falling.  The group then traveled down the Otira Gorge, past Mt. Rolleston Lookout, to board the TranzAlpine Express train at Arthur’s Pass Village.  The train was met by the tour bus at Springfield Station for the return to the hotel.

TUESDAY: In the morning the Academy Judges visited the District Court of Christchurch and met with Judge Colin Doherty, the Executive Judge,  Judges Murray Abbot and Graham Hubble (visiting from Auckland), who handle civil cases, Judges Philip Moran, Edward Ryan and John Strettell, Juvenile Court judges, and Judges Brian Callaghan,  David Holderness, Ray Kean, Jacqueline Moran, and Jane Meeken, who handle Family Court and general matters.

There are 66 District Courts throughout N.Z., some with resident judges and some with visiting judges.  The Court Act provides for a maximum of 120 District Court Judges.  District Courts determine civil claims involving up to $200,000, some claims involving less than $7,500 are dealt with by the Disputes Tribunals.  District Courts cover minor criminal offenses, and conduct trials for some serious offenses such as rape and aggravated robbery.  The Christchurch District Court’s local circuit extends from Timaru and Canterbury Province to the West Coast.  Judges travel to the circuit courts and stay about a week.  Judge Edward Ryan used to be the “resident” judge in Timaru until it was dissolved three years ago.

Judge McMeeken presides over a pilot project for a youth drug court in addition to Family Court and criminal matters.  She usually hears 70-80 cases a day.  The juvenile courts were established in 1989.  After tea the District Court judges took the Bench for their morning proceedings.  Judge Mautino visited Judge McMeeken’s courtroom, which was a closed courtroom hearing juvenile matters.  He was invited to sit on the Bench with Judge McMeeken during the entire morning proceedings. Judge Thrasher visited a civil courtroom and observed law and motion proceedings, including a summary judgment motion about a case involving jewelry which disappeared from a hotel safe.  The insurance company refused to pay because it believed it was a staged robbery and the lawyers were discussing how to get deposition statements from four hotel employees.

Judges Frazee, Murphy, and Seymour, and Executive Secretary Diane Bowen, visited Judge Brian Callaghan’s courtroom where he was hearing a Family Law custody case in which the parents couldn’t agree on a visitation schedule.  It was Judge Callaghan’s intention to steer them to a settlement of “shared care.”  Judge Callaghan let both parents testify and then took a recess to let them try to agree on a schedule, which they did.  The judges enjoyed visiting with Judge Callaghan during the recess.

In the afternoon the group visited the Christchurch Maori Land Court and were met by court administrators Lee Luke and Diane Carter.  The court was originally established by the Native Land Act of 1865 to define the land rights of the Maori people under Maori custom and to translate those rights into land titles recognizable under European law.  Traditional Maori land rights involved communal ownership of land.  The hapu (sub-tribe) or iwi (tribe) had to prove their traditional rights to land on the basis of occupation, conquest or ancestry.  The gifting of land was also taken into account.  Traditionally, land parcels were passed down each generation to children, which has caused the land to be divided over and over so that today there are difficulties tracking the succession of the land.  Occupation was symbolized by the term “ahi kaa” meaning “to keep the home fires burning.”  This meant that the hapu had to establish their genealogical connections as well as their physical and emotional ties to a piece of land.  All this information was recorded and preserved in the Native Land Court’s records.

The Maori Land Court (Te Kooti Whenua Maori) was established under the Te Ture Whenua Maori Act of 1993 and has jurisdiction to hear all matters relating to Maori Land.  About 1.3 million hectares of land in N.Z. is designated as Maori freehold land, which is approximately 6% of N.Z.  The special bond between Maori people and land was recognized by the N.Z. Parliament.  The Te Ture Whenua Maori Act of 1993 states: “...it is the intention of Parliament that powers, duties, and discretions conferred by this Act shall be exercised, as far as possible, in a manner that facilitates and promotes the retention, use, development and control of Maori land as taonga tuku iho [heritage] by Maori owners, their whanau [family], their hapu [sub-tribe], and their decendants.”

The judges of the Maori Land Court also sit in panels of three or more judges to act as the Maori Appellate Court.  The Maori Land Court and the Maori Appellate Court may  request the opinion of the High Court on any point of law arising in proceedings before it.  The decision of the High Court is subject to appeal to the Court of Appeal, and their decision is binding on the Maori Land Court.  The Christchurch Maori Land Court is in session one week every two months.  Judge Wainwright is the resident judge who was sitting in Wellington during the Academy’s visit.

Additional functions of the Maori Land Court include promotion of management of Maori land by its Maori owners in maintaining the records of title and ownership, and providing land information to Crown agencies to preserve taonga Maori (heritage).  This includes appointment of trustees, succession, transfers, and gifting of land for Maori claimants.  It was the opinion of Academy members that N.Z. has done a great job in protecting and respecting their indigenous people.

After the meetings some of the group walked to the Canterbury Museum founded in 1868 with collections on early Antarctic exploration and traditional Maori society, visited the Arts Centre galleries, or walked through the botanic gardens, with conservatories, rose and bulb gardens, water gardens and fountains.  The Avon River provided a beautiful background for the walk back to the hotel.

In the evening the group dined at the Sign of the Takahe Restaurant.  Located in a old castle on a hilltop with views of the city, the Canterbury plains and the distant Southern Alps, the restaurant is one of the most famous and oldest in Christchurch.

WEDNESDAY: In the morning the group departed for Queenstown, driving through the scenic countryside to Lake Tekapo and Mt. Cook.  Mt. Cook is N.Z.’s highest mountain at 12,349 feet.  It is sacred to the Ngai Tahu tribe of the South Island and Maori legend is that the mountain and its companion peaks were formed when a boy named Aoraki and his three brothers  came down from the heavens to visit Papatuanuku (Earth Mother) in a canoe.  The canoe overturned, and as the brothers moved to the back of the boat they turned to stone.  The national park includes 19 peaks over 3,000 feet and glaciers cover 40% of the 270 square-mile park.  The group had lunch at the Hermitage, first built in 1895, with views of Mt. Cook.  Some members of the group planned to take a flight-seeing helicopter flight to Mt. Cook, including a glacier landing, but high winds prevented the flight. The group continued to Queenstown and checked into the Heritage Hotel.

THURSDAY: Queenstown is situated on the northeast shore of Lake Wakatipu surrounded by the Remarkables Mountain Range.  Each Academy’s member’s hotel room overlooked the lake and mountain range.  Queenstown was established during the 1860s gold rush.  Lake Wakatipu has glacial origins.  The Maori legend is the lake was formed by the imprint of a sleeping demon burnt to death by the lover of a beautiful Maori girl captured by the demon; because his heart did not perish and still beats, the level of the lake rises and falls as much as three inches every five minutes.  Lake Wakatipu is the second largest of the South Island’s glacial lakes.  

The group was scheduled for a Milford Sound flight-seeing and fjord cruise, but was unable to take this tour due to high winds moving into the area.  As an alternative, the group took a jet-boat ride on the Shotover River through the narrow, rocky canyons of the Remarkables, and watched 141 foot-high bungy jumping from the Kawarau Bridge.  Next the group visited Arrowtown. Built on the Fox River in 1862, it is one of the region’s best preserved gold-mining towns, located 12 miles from Queenstown. Gold was discovered in the Fox River and within a week 240 pounds had been taken out of the river.  Arrowtown had many colonial shops and buildings dating back to the 1860s.

Lunch was at the Gibbston Valley Winery after a tour of the underground wine caves and the vineyards which thrive in the hot summer days and cool evenings.

In the evening the Academy members attended a Cocktail Reception with the Queenstown Law Society at the Law Offices of Macalister, Todd, Phillips & Bodkins (“MTP&B”) hosted by Partner Kevin Phillips, who is the head of the Law Society.  The following solicitors attended the reception: Rachel Hawkins, Berry & Co., who specializes in resource management, environmental law and general litigation; Clark Price, MTP&B, commercial law; Maureen Maxwell, Berry & Co., commercial and resource management, Matt Kelleher, MTP&B, commercial law; Jeremy Barr, MTP&B, commercial and property law; Toni Brown, MTP&B family law; Charlotte Allan, MTP&B, civil litigation; Diana McCully, MTP&B practice manager; and Kriernan Tohill, MTP&B partner.  The Macalister, Todd, Phillips & Bodkins firm handles any type of legal matters excluding taxes. Business is through referrals and the firm will represent clients in civil or criminal cases.  In addition, they are local counsel for the government. 

FRIDAY:  The storm turned into one of the biggest spring thunderstorms Queenstown had experienced in some time.  Electricity went out in the town overnight, and it continued to rain on and off the entire day.  The group was again unable to take the Milford Sound flight-seeing.    


The annual business meeting was held in the Heritage Hotel, Mackenzie’s Bar at 10:30 a.m with all Fellows in attendance.  Academy President Philip K. Mautino thanked everyone for attending the trip.

The minutes of the Danube Cruise/Poland trip, October 4-19, 2002, were approved as written by motion of Judge Seymour, second by Judge Frazee, unanimously passed.  The 2004 Treasurer’s Report submitted by Treasurer Judge Keene showing a balance of $2,013.82 as of October 16, 2003, was discussed and approved as submitted. 

The delinquent dues report was presented by the Executive Secretary.  Two Academy members were delinquent for 2001, 2002 and 2003.  A motion was made by Judge Frazee to drop the two members now and allow them to rejoin at a later date after paying a $50 assessment in addition to the delinquent and current dues; second by Judge Murphy, unanimously approved. Some of the judges on the delinquent dues list will be personally contacted.

Sending out news and updates by e:mail was discussed.  When the 2004 dues are collected the Executive Secretary will ask for e:mail addresses.  A suggestion was made to develop a website for the Academy where updates could be posted.

Academy President Mautino opened the 2004 nominations: The current Vice-President, Judge Thomas McKnew, Jr. had indicated his willingness to serve as 2004 president.  Nomination of Judge McKnew by Judge Seymour, second by Judge Frazee, nominations moved closed, unanimously elected.  Nomination of Judge Murphy as Vice-President by Judge Frazee, second by Judge Thrasher, nominations moved closed, unanimously elected.  Nomination of Judge Seymour as Chancellor by Judge Thrasher; second by Judge Murphy, nominations moved closed, unanimously elected.

Judge McKnew asked the Executive Secretary to inform the members that he was happy to serve and looking forward to it without reservation.  He is considering South America or a cruise on the Douro River in Spain.  He will appreciate any input from members; his e:mail address is misskitow@aol.com.  There was a question about friends of judges attending trips and after a thorough discussion, the Academy’s current policy requiring approval of the Academy president of non-dues paying travelers was confirmed.

Justice Tony Randerson, High Court of New Zealand, Waterloo Quadrant, Judge Colin Doherty, District Court of Christchurch, and Justice John Gallop, Federal Court of Australia (Ret.), were nominated for Honorary Membership by Judge Mautino, seconded by Judge Murphy, unanimously elected.

The judges thanked Academy President Mautino for an outstanding job in putting together the trip to New Zealand, and thanked him for leading the group with dignity and frivolity for the past two years.  The meeting was adjourned at 1:30 p.m.  The rest of the afternoon and evening were free.

SATURDAY: Because of high winds the Milford Sound flight-seeing was still unavailable, and as an alternative, several of the members played golf at the Kelvin Heights Golf Course along the shores of Lake Wakatipu.  The majority of the members enjoyed a jet-boat journey along the Dart River between the towering mountains and ancient forests of Mount Aspiring National Park, or as it is now known, “Middle Earth.”  The jet-boat ride ended with a trek through the rainforest to meet a safari bus for a scenic ride through the National Park back to Glenorchy for lunch.  The balance of the day was free.

The Farewell Dinner was held at Gantley’s Restaurant.  President Mautino and Barbara were presented with a hand-carved teak Kiwi bird to commemorate the trip and thank them for all their hard work.

SUNDAY: Some members left for home.   Judge Murphy and Pat joined a trekking group for a five-day trek into Milford Sound. Judges Seymour, Frazee, Mautino and Thrasher and Dorothy Kolts and Rhoda Cocca departed for Sydney, Australia and stayed at the Four Seasons Hotel.

MONDAY: In the morning the group enjoyed a city tour, followed by a lunch cruise in the harbor.  In the afternoon the group was met by Justice John Gallop, a retired federal Supreme Court justice.  Justice Gallop briefed the members on the structure of the Australian court system and then escorted the members to the courthouse of the Supreme Court of New South Wales.  After touring the courthouse the members observed various court sessions, including an appeal that was being argued before a three-judge panel of the Court of Criminal Appeals.  The issue before the court was a challenge to the application of sentencing guidelines.  After the session the members engaged in a discussion with the barristers who had argued the appeal, after which the members were taken on a tour of the historic federal courthouse by Justice Gallop.  Later, the group visited the chambers of the Hon. Bryan Alan Beaumont for tea, and discussed differences in Australian and American Judicial procedures.

In the evening members enjoyed a performance at the Sydney Opera House.

TUESDAY: The day was free.  In the evening the group flew to Cairns, and transferred to the Sebel Reef House.

WEDNESDAY: The group went on a boat trip which took them to a platform on the Great Barrier Reef where they could dive and snorkel, and take a submersible boat trip.

THURSDAY: The group enjoyed a full day excursion of the “Ultimate Kuranda Experience,” including riding the Kuranda Train, an Army Duck, a BBQ lunch, a performance by Pamagri Aboriginal Dancers, a Dreamtime Walk, visited a Koala Wildlife Park, and enjoyed a ride on a Skyrail.

FRIDAY: The group left Australia for transfers to Auckland and then the United States.

Written By Diane Z. Bowen, Executive Secretary

Philip K. Mautino, President

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