Roimata Smail — Barrister

Bachelor of Laws, University of Auckland
Bachelor of Arts, University of Auckland

Roimata Smail

M: 021 061 7085
S: roimatasmail

Ngāti Maniapoto, Waikato-Tainui
Ko Roimata Smail ahau

Roimata works in human rights and public law specialising in discrimination against Māori.

She has represented iwi, hapū, whānau, urban Māori organisations and Māori owned and governed health and social service providers in the Courts, in negotiations with the government and in the Waitangi Tribunal.

She has acted in a number of high-profile cases challenging discrimination against Māori and asserting the rights of Māori to self-determine in matters that affect them and where the Crown has discriminated against Māori. This has included litigation against Oranga Tamariki, the Department of Corrections and ACC. She acted for lead claimants in Stage One of the Waitangi Tribunal’s Health Services and Outcomes Inquiry which led to the watershed Hauora Report 2019. This recommended significant changes to the health care system to address inequity, recognise the capacity and success of Māori owned and run health care services, and allow Māori self-determination of their own health.

Roimata acted in the only hearing under the now repealed Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004, and on the first negotiations under the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 to result in an offer of Customary Marine Title from the Crown.

She has worked throughout all stages of Treaty of Waitangi settlement negotiations, advising iwi on their negotiations to agree packages of redress involving compensation, return of ancestral land and new relationships with the Crown intended to prevent breaches of the Treaty in the future.

She considers it a privilege to work with inspiring leaders with energy and vision, and to be able to participate in cases at the forefront of human rights law in New Zealand.

Alongside the law, Roimata has a passion for education and a belief in its capacity to make positive changes in New Zealand society. She delivers education on the Treaty of Waitangi around the country She is a long time learner of te Reo Māori and with her husband who is a primary school teacher, has created an online introductory Reo Māori resource for primary schools

Roimata’s favourite place to be is at the beach with her husband and two young children.

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