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  • Canterbury tales

    Canterbury Westland Branch New Zealand Law Society May 2014, Vol. 20, No. 4

    Canterbury tales

    JPs meet the judiciary

    Notice is hereby given that the biennial general meeting of the Canterbury Westland Branch, New Zealand Law Society, will be held on Thursday 26 June 2014 at 5pm at the West Wing, Lone Star Restaurant, corner Waimairi and Riccarton Roads, Christchurch. Nominations are called for the following positions: President (1). Vice-president (1). Council members (7). Nomination forms have gone out in the weekly notices. If you have not received a nomination form then please contact the branch office on: Phone — 366-9184. Address — PO Box 565, Christchurch 8140. Email —

    Malcolm Ellis, Branch Manager

    Branch BGM next month

    By Rebecca Ardagh and Sophie Goodwin

    It has been another exciting month for the Junior Practit ioners Committee and we have a number of new interesting projects and events coming up. On Friday 9 May the JPs held their Cocktails with the Judiciary event, which sold out very quickly. At this event junior practitioners got to mix and mingle with Judge O’Driscoll, Judge Saunders, Judge Walsh, Judge Callaghan, Associate Judge Matthews, Judge Kellar, Hon Justice Gendall, Hon Justice Dunningham, Coroner McElrea and Coroner Johnson. It was great to see so many representatives of the judiciary supporting this event and getting to know the junior practitioners, who were also on fire that evening. The warm and friendly manner of the judiciary will no doubt have put a few junior litigators at ease by the time the next List rolls around. This event was kindly hosted by Blax Espresso Bar, who provided us with delicious food and cocktails for the evening. The JP’s committee is extremely grateful to Blax for hosting this event and for all of the work they did on the night. If anyone is in or around Victoria Street we would strongly recommend that you pop into Blax for your coffee and a date scone — we will probably see you there. We would also like to thank our kind sponsors, Wynn Williams, for making this event possible. The JPs are planning to host a BYO for junior practitioners on 4 July, so block out your diaries and standby for details of our next event in Canterbury Tales or Canterbury Westland Branch notices. The JPs have also launched a new initiative called “Bridging the Gap”, which is a mentoring programme connecting junior practitioners with current law students in the area. We strongly encourage any junior practitioners in practice to contact the junior practitioners committee at, advising of your areas of practice or interest and the number of years experience that you have. Once you do so, the Junior Practitioners’ Committee will pair you with a mentor at the Canterbury Law School that you can guide and

    provide support to as they move toward the next stage of their career. This programme does not impose a burden on mentors, only requiring that you catch up for coffee or some other such beverage as often as you would like. It is not expected that any mentor will provide tutoring, counselling or be required to act as recruiting agent for the mentor and is a great opportunity for junior practitioners in their first few years of practice to support the future members of the profession.

    Programmes such as this have been very successful elsewhere and we would love for the Canterbury programme to take them all by storm. To top it all off this programme will be launched with a spectacular launch event during which you will mingle with other junior practitioners and enjoy some free food and drink in classic JP’s style. We look forward to seeing everyone at the Junior Practitioners’ BYO and hearing from you all when you register to become mentors for the Bridging the Gap programme.

    Judge Callaghan with Ben McCall, from Wynn Williams, and Maddie Dawe, from Lane Neave.

  • Canterbury tales2 Canterbury tales2

    President’s ColumnVino Fino Photo Caption

    The winning entry for the last month’s picture (below) was submitted by Andrew Huntley.

    “Time for this morning’s facebook selfie...Damn, lookin good...!”

    Each month we have a photo caption competition where we invite you to submit a caption. The winner will receive two bottles of wine sponsored by Vino Fino (, 188 Durham Street). Send your entry to the Canterbury Westland Branch New Zealand Law Society, P. O. Box 565, Christchurch. Or email to canterbury- All entries must be received by June 9 2014. The winner will be announced in the next edition of Canterbury Tales.

    Dear Colleagues, I have been surprised by a recent article published on the NZ Lawyer website on 14 April 2014 headed “ADLS — Why New Zealand Lawyers Need Us”. I hope you have not read this. The opening paragraph states — “When the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006 came into effect, naming the New Zealand Law Society sole regulator of the legal profession, localised law societies around the country closed their doors for good”. And further in the article a reference is made to outreach programmes where the CEO of the ADLS is quoted as saying, “The initial focus has been in the Christchurch/Canterbury area where lawyers have a need for additional support following the disruption of the earthquakes”. The first comment that needs to be made is that the Canterbury Westland Branch never shut its doors. The team of dedicated and skilful staff led by the loud Malcolm Ellis has not paused, nor has Malcolm Ellis got any quieter. It has always been business as usual. The second comment is that there is a perception that we have need for additional support. Would not we all say in response to that we have learned to look after each other as well as ourselves? We were comforted by the extreme forms of leadership by our then master Allister Davis at the time when all was in disarray. He helped our profession to have a clear idea as to how to restore the provision of justice to our community. Was not it the New Zealand Law Society National Office in Wellington on behalf of the Canterbury Westland Branch who made contact with us to make sure that we were alive and unharmed? Allister Davis (who must have worked in some cases almost 24 hours a day) ensured that we were as fully informed as possible about what our futures could look like and where we could play our part in assisting other practitioners. The really serious question to be asked is what goes on in the minds of the Northern latte drinkers? We may not get a prompt or accurate answer on that so let’s go to the local awards for this month: Alan Bruce — a lifetime achievement award. Many years ago Alan (a devout man) decided to give up for the season of lent any meaningful exercise in daily life. Such was the feeling of great contentment that Alan decided to convert this into a vow for life. He was only known to breach the vow when, during one of those haphazard aftershocks, he sprinted across his kitchen to catch a bottle of fine pinot noir before it hit the floor. I am told that he is still in recovery. On this occasion Ms Di Shirtcliff (a woman whose hat never seems to run out of rabbits) will loan to Alan her original tape of the soundtrack to “Chariots of Fire” when Alan requests it.

    Clare Yardley (obviously a favourite of the academy) — nominated this time for best psycho horror part in a scene set some years ago before the invention of the security toaster that most of us have to subject our internal organs to before we can enter Court. A case was to be called in the No. 1 list Court involving a gang confrontation. Police were stationed inside and around the Court entrance for frisk searching. Ms Yardley presented herself to a constable who had mistakenly taken Ms Yardley to be a good and virtuous woman (he was very young). He waved her through the cordon unsearched. Ms Yardley was profoundly disappointed and while stamping her tender foot said, “Constable I demand a full body search”. The fresh-faced constable turned crimson, clearly traumatised and obviously hoping that this was a call well beyond his duty. Best stage name — My attention was recently drawn by a fellow practitioner to a name in the daily Court list for the No 1 Court. The name was Finnie MacDougall Laphroiag. Surprisingly he faced an excess breath alcohol charge. Until next time.

    Colin Eason

  • Canterbury tales 3

    Tale of a migrant woman

    Canterbury Tales is the official newsletter of the Canterbury Westland Branch New Zealand Law Society. Publications Committee: Karen Feltham (editor), Brendan Callaghan, Aliza Eveleigh, Zylpha Kovacs and Kate Dougherty. All correspondence and photographs should be forwarded to: The Branch Manager, Canterbury-Westland Branch New Zealand Law Society, Unit 1, 8 Homersham Place, Russley, Christchurch. P. O. Box 565 Christchurch. Phone 358-3147, fax 358-3148. email Canterbury Tales is published 11 times per year. The deadline for editorial and photographs is the 8th of the month. Disclaimer: Canterbury Tales is published by the Canterbury Westland Branch New Zealand Law Society. The opinions expressed herein may not necessarily be those of the Branch and have not been expressly authorised. The Branch accepts no responsibility whatsoever for any error, omission or statement.

    By Kamil Lakshman

    It was winter of 1999. Movina (not her real name) had just arrived in New Zealand with a young one and a new born. Movina had a bachelor of science in chemistry from a reputable university in India but had limited English skills. Movina accompanied her husband to New Zealand when he was grant

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