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BA/LLB (Hons) (Wellington), LLM (Otago)

Mihiata Pirini 2020 image

Ko Tongariro te maunga, Ko Taupō te moana, Ko Ngāti Tūwharetoa te iwi,
Ko Mākeo te maunga, Ko Waiaua te awa, Ko Whakatōhea te iwi.


Office 7C22


I am teaching in the case analysis section of LAWS 101 The Legal System.

Research interests

My research interests are in public and administrative law, and specifically in the Treaty of Waitangi's influence on public decision-making and the relationship between tikanga and state law. I'm also focused on the emerging field of legal design.

My LLM thesis, completed in 2020, examines the accessibility of the Māori Land Court through a legal design and Kaupapa Māori research and theoretical framework. I have a Level 6 Diploma in te reo Māori from Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.


I joined the Faculty of Law in July 2020.

From 2011 to 2019 I was in legal research and advice roles in the public sector, first at the Law Commission and then in Crown Law's Treaty of Waitangi team. In my new academic role I strive to maintain strong links with the public sector. I was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the New Zealand High Court in 2010.


Carter, L.-A., Drake, K., & Pirini, M. (2022, March-April). Culturally appropriate service design and delivery [Invited]. Panel discussion at the International Access to Justice and Legal Services Forum, [Online].

Pirini, M. (2022, June). Pluralising legalities: Justin Richland's book "Cooperation without submission" [Invited discussant]. Seminar hosted by Te Puna Rangahau o te Wai Ariki | NZ Centre for Indigenous Peoples and the Law and the Centre for Legal Theory, in conjunction with the University of Otago Centre for Law & Society, [Online]. [Public Seminar].

Pirini, M. (2022). Interview with the Honourable Justice Sir Joe Williams, the New Zealand Supreme Court. In W. C. Wallace, M. M. Berlin & D. K. Das (Eds.), Trends in the judiciary: Interviews with judges across the globe (Vol. 4). (pp. 193-206). New York, NY: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9780429260513-15

Pirini, M., & High, A. (2022). Dignity and mana in Aotearoa New Zealand legislation. Policy Quarterly, 18(1), 52-58. doi: 10.26686/pq.v18i1.7503

Pirini, M., & High, A. (2021). Dignity and mana in Aotearoa law. The Spinoff, (21 September). Retrieved from

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