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Public Servants

14 July 2023

From Anna Tutton to Professor Thiam-Soon Tan, learn about the Public Servants UC is showcasing to celebrate our 150th!

Anna Tutton
Anna Tutton

LLB 1986, BA 1986 

Before being appointed as a coroner in 2015, Anna Tutton had a varied career in criminal law and legal education, working as a High Court Judges’ Clerk, and in legal roles in the Crown Law Office, the Crown Solicitor’s office, Wellington, Institute of Professional Legal Studies, Commerce Commission, and the New Zealand Police. In her role in Police, and as a coroner, Anna worked on the response to disasters such as the Pike River mine incident, Canterbury earthquakes, Christchurch Mosque shootings, and the Whakaari White Island eruption. She has also worked in Pacific jurisdictions, training Police staff and judicial officers, and assisting with the development of coronial processes. In 2022 Anna was appointed as a District Court Judge and the Chief Coroner of New Zealand.

Melanie Mark-Shadbolt
Melanie Mark-Shadbolt

Ngāti Porou, Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa, Te Atiawa, Ngāti Raukawa, and Te Arawa
BA 2002

Passionate about the environment, indigenous rights, and the empowerment of communities to manage their own resources, Melanie Mark-Shadbolt is currently Deputy Secretary Tūmatakōkiri (Māori Rights & Interests) for the Ministry for the Environment, as well as a Co-Founder and Trustee of Te Tira Whakamātaki - a Māori environmental not-for-profit. Her expertise in biodiversity and driving environmental outcomes are underpinned by an indigenous worldview. With over 13 years of leadership experience at board, CE and senior management level, Melanie is passionate about using strong research and policy to empower communities and create a healthier environment for all New Zealanders.

Sir Charles Moihi Te Arawaka Bennett DSO PMN
Sir Charles Moihi Te Arawaka Bennett DSO PMN

Christchurch Training College 1936, BA 1936, LLD 1973

Second eldest of 19 children, Sir Charles Moihi Te Arawka Bennett began his career as a teacher and South Island Māori rugby representative. He was recruited as an announcer for the New Zealand Broadcasting Service and just a year later, enlisted at the outbreak of war in 1939. Fighting in Greece and Crete, he led an intelligence unit responsible for reconnaissance, often speaking in te reo Māori to prevent enemy interception. From 1959 to 1963, Sir Charles became New Zealand’s 2nd high commissioner to Malaya and was the Labour Party president from 1972 to 1976, living a life of valuable public service.

Photo credit: Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections: Accession 1327

Rt Hon. Sir John Key GNZM AC
Rt Hon. Sir John Key GNZM AC

BCom 1983, DCom 2017

Pursuing a childhood dream of becoming Prime Minister of New Zealand, Sir John Key left a successful career in investment banking to enter politics in 2002 as MP for Helensville. Becoming Leader of the National Party shortly after in 2006, Sir John then held the Prime Minister role from 2008 until his retirement in 2016. His achievements include leading the government during the Christchurch earthquakes, the Global Financial Crisis, and a range of economic, social, and environmental reforms. “I went into politics because I genuinely believe that I could make a difference. Whatever political party people represent; they all go to Parliament because they want to make a difference.”

Rosemary Banks 2
Dr Rosemary Banks

BA 1973, MA (Hons) 1976, LittD 2015

Dr Rosemary Banks has had a distinguished diplomatic career, promoting New Zealand’s interests on the global stage for more than 40 years. After serving in the Pacific and Australia she was appointed Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade responsible for Multilateral Affairs, and later become Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York in 2005. As Ambassador to France and Portugal, Banks also represented New Zealand at the OECD. Her final posting was as Ambassador to the United States from 2018 to 2022, the first woman to hold this position. Dr Banks has also served as a Crown negotiator for the Treaty of Waitangi settlement process.

Rt Hon. Sir Andrew Tipping KNZM PC
Rt Hon. Sir Andrew Tipping KNZM PC

LLB 1966, BA 1966, LLM 1967, LLD 2002

Recognised as one of the most distinguished graduates of the University of Canterbury’s School of Law and lauded for his substantial and permanent contribution to shaping law in New Zealand, Sir Andrew has served as a judge at the highest levels. In 1986 he was appointed a Judge of the High Court in Christchurch, before becoming a Judge of the Court of Appeal of New Zealand and a Privy Counsellor in 1997. Upon its establishment in 2004, Sir Andrew was appointed to the Supreme Court, serving on that Court until his retirement in 2012. He is a former council member of the New Zealand Law Society and former member and chairman of the Tribunals Committee and the Legal Aid Committee.

John Wood 1
Dr John Wood QSO

BA 1965, MA (Hons) 1966, LittD 2006

A career diplomat, trade policy advisor and New Zealand’s principal trade negotiator, Dr Wood retired in 2006 after 37 years public service. During his service, Dr Wood was Ambassador to Iran, Pakistan and Turkey, and twice to the USA. In 2006, alongside retirement, Dr Wood was awarded his Master of Arts with Honours from Oxford University. From 2011-2019 he was elected Chancellor of UC, spanning the Christchurch earthquakes and campus rebuild, and was also a member of Lincoln University’s Council. From 2017-2019 Dr Wood was Chair of the Canterbury District Health Board. Throughout, Dr Wood has been Chief Crown Negotiator for a number of Treaty of Waitangi Settlement negotiations.

Amy Adams 1
Hon. Amy Adams

LLB (Hons) 1993

Appointed in 2022, the current Chancellor of the University of Canterbury, Honourable Amy Adams has had an illustrious career spanning both politics and law. After spending 16 years as a practising lawyer, Amy was elected MP for Selwyn from 2008 to 2020, further serving as Cabinet Minister for six years and holding portfolios in Environment, Communications and Justice in the Fifth National Government. Instrumental in building world-class fibre internet networks across New Zealand, developing New Zealand’s first ever National Freshwater Quality Standards and overhauling the Family Violence Legislation, Amy also became the first ever Minister in charge of Social Investment, leading the way in forming a citizen-centric, cross-Government approach.

Sandra Manderson 1
Dr Sandra Manderson QSM

Teacher’s College Diploma 1976, BSc 1977, MSc 1987, MBA 1993, LLD 2015

Deciding at the age of six that she wanted to join the NZ Police, it was Sandra Manderson’s passion for community that saw her do just that in 1978. Sandra’s career has seen her trailblaze a path for women in policing, and she was the first woman in NZ to achieve the rank of Superintendent. Awarded a Queen’s Service Medal in 1993 for services to the community, her career has also seen her travel the world, working in Thailand and the US before returning to NZ in 2011 to assist with the aftermath of the February earthquake. Sandra retired from the New Zealand Police in 2018 after 40 years of service.

Thiam-Soon Tan 1
Professor Thiam-Soon Tan

BE (Hons) 1979

Professor Thiam-Soon Tan was the President of the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) from 2013 to 2021, moving into the role of SIT’s inaugural Institute Professor in early 2022. He studied Civil Engineering at UC before going to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 1981. Upon returning to Singapore, Professor Tan started his academic career at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and was there for 26 years, becoming a Professor of Civil Engineering and then Vice Provost for Education. Professor Tan is also a registered Specialist Geotechnical Engineer, with his main research interests being land reclamation, deep excavation, and soil improvement.

Vui Clarence Nelson
Justice Vui Clarence Nelson

LLB 1978

A born and bred Samoan matai, Justice Vui is currently serving as the Senior Judge of the Supreme Court of Samoa. He has been a judiciary reformer and tireless advocate of human rights throughout his career, particularly on behalf of children. Justice Vui was behind the first Pacific-based Young Offenders Act and Community Justice Act, established the Samoa Youth Court and Olomoana Centre to house young people in conflict with the law, which also provides them opportunities to upskill. He was the first Pacific Islands judge to be appointed to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and continues his long service to Samoa and its people.

Hon. Margaret Austin CNZM CRSNZ

BSc 1954, Christchurch Teacher’s College 1954 

After a career in teaching, Hon. Margaret Austin was first elected to Parliament in 1984 as the MP for Yaldhurst, serving as Minister of Research, Science and Technology, Internal Affairs, and Arts and Culture (1990). She previously served as Chancellor of Lincoln University, and Chaired the National Commission of UNESCO, working for the Director General. Margaret was made a Companion of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 2003, and in 2008 was awarded as a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM). Her relationship with UNESCO led to working internationally, and eventually international recognition of the importance of astronomy, with the International Dark Sky Association awarding the Aoraki-McKenzie Dark Sky Reserve Gold status.

Annamarie Jagose
Professor Annamarie Jagose

MA (Hons) 1989

Currently Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sydney, Professor Annamarie Jagose previously worked at the University of Auckland and the University of Melbourne. An internationally renowned scholar, award-winning novelist, and short story writer, across her career she has alternately published critically acclaimed scholarly monographs and novels, seven in total. Across those different registers, she explores questions of gendered, sexual and racial identity and desire. Professor Jagose’s 1996 monograph Queer Theory has been translated into four languages and her novel Slow Water received the Deutz Medal for Fiction at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2004.

Ivor Richardson
Rt Hon. Sir Ivor Richardson PCNZM PC QC

LLB 1954, LLD 1987

An eminent jurist, legal writer and academic, Sir Ivor Richardson has had a major influence on New Zealand law and was the longest-serving Court of Appeal judge. His patient and courteous approach to judging, the emphasis he put on good administration and belief that “the courts are the people’s courts” meant he had a unique influence on the way judges work today. The architect of the Generic Tax Policy Process, Ivor is also credited with helping to establish tax law as a field of university study and, in turn, influencing a generation of young lawyers.

Photo credit: Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections: AWNS-194310-18-5

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