Te Whenua Law specialises in providing affordable advice and advocacy to support Maori social and economic development. The practice covers a broad range of matters from Maori land and asset management to Waitangi Tribunal claims. The company's educational arm - Te Whenua Consulting, provides workshops to educate on participants on basic matters of law, and to assist organisations to develop an understanding of the Treaty of Waitangi and improve Maori language and cultural competency amongst staff.
The practice is led by Tania Te Whenua (Tuhoe, Whakatohea; BA Maori Resource Management, and LLB Commercial Law). Tania is a passionate educator and practicing barrister and solicitor with specialist legal expertise in Waitangi Tribunal and Maori Commercial law.
Presently Tania is acting legal counsel to the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions and Public Service Association representing their joint position on inequities facing Maori women in employment within the current Waitangi Tribunal Mana Wahine Kaupapa Inquiry; and co-counsel to the New Zealand Maori Council representing their Treaty of Waitangi claim on climate change.
Tania is also the current Maori cultural advisor to Tourism New Zealand and the Asia New Zealand Foundation and is legal and cultural advisor to the New Zealand Federation of Multicultural Councils. In addition, Tania provides ongoing Treaty of Waitangi and Maori cultural advisory services to a number of additional public-sector entities, tertiary education institutions and charitable organisations across New Zealand including AgResearch, Canterbury Museum, Massey University, Orion Energy New Zealand, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Victoria University of Wellington, and WorkSafe New Zealand.
Tania is also presently engaged by Landcare Research as a consultant contributing to research on Maori resource management practices for the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge and a member of the Bay of Plenty Regional Council Rivers Advisory Body.
Prior to establishing Te Whenua Law and Consulting, Tania practiced as a Waitangi Tribunal and Maori Commercial Solicitor at Bay of Plenty Law Firms - Aurere Law, Holland Beckett and Potts and Hodgson Lawyers. She is the former Programme Manager Maori at Victoria University?s Centre for Executive Development and co-wrote the Centre's Maori language resources. Tania also managed Maori educational programmes for the Peace Foundation Aotearoa ? a not for profit organization which educates on peaceful conflict resolution in New Zealand schools. Prior to this Tania held the role of senior researcher Maori at Te Papa Tongarewa, the Museum of New Zealand, where she worked across the curatorial and repatriation teams to support the generation of knowledge on Maori taonga and customary practices. Tania is known for fostering confidence in those with little or no exposure to the Maori language and culture in a safe learning environment.