KQ vs KC – In defence of Khylee Quince


Righteous defender of the weak and public academic Khylee Quince has enraged the tone police who always seem to turn up when a smart young brown woman has something to say…

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has criticised the Dean of the AUT Law School after she publicly told a highly-respected King’s Counsel to “die quietly in the corner.”

Khylee Quince made the online comments toward Gary Judd KC after he lodged a complaint with the Government Regulations Review Committee regarding mandatory tikanga Māori studies for law students.

Quince wrote “I suppose it was inevitable that one of the old racist dinosaurs would make a pathetic squeal in an attempt to preserve the status quo…. Mr Judd and his “matauranga Maori is not science” friends can go die quietly in the corner.”

…Comrade Quince can call it any way she see’s it.

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Sick burns aside however, the issues raised regarding compulsory course requirements for Law students to understand Māori Tikanga are legitimate and should be heard.

We should not flinch at the desire to debate compulsory Māori tikanga courses for Law students.

What we should flinch at are the extraordinarily basic level swings that Gary Judd KC has made against teaching this.

First let me be clear.

I think compulsory Māori tikanga courses for Law students are a no brainer.

76% of all lawyers are European, only 7% are Māori despite being 16% of the population.

Māori tikanga is entwined throughout our environmental law, international treaties, all public services, local council, etc etc etc and seeing as Māori are grotesquely over represented in Prisons, having some insight into culture, customary rights, legal obligations etc etc etc would be EXACTLY what NZ lawyers trained here should know and understand.

Knowing Māori tikanga and understanding Māori tikanga and having insight and over sight of Māori tikanga within law is just a basic good idea.

That’s what makes Gary Judd’s line of argument so woeful and pathetic. His argument is that Māori tikanga is a belief and as such he shouldn’t have to believe in it...

King’s Counsel Gary Judd files complaint over tikanga Māori requirement for law students, Winston Peters agrees

A senior King’s Counsel has filed a complaint to the Government’s Regulations Review Committee over incoming compulsory tikanga Māori studies for law students.

Gary Judd KC told the Herald he did so because up until now the curriculum for lawyers has been made up of what he described as “proper law subjects”, such as criminal law and the law of torts.

“Tikanga is a system of beliefs, a system which indicates the way the Māori people who subscribe to tikanga consider is the right way of doing things. So it is quite different,” Judd said.

…that is such a woefully stupid analysis of what is being offered you cringe at the naked ugliness of it. Knowing these things as you interact in a legal profession that is under represented yet over represented on the receiving end of that justice system isn’t a weakness or woke nonsense, it’s basic understanding of the legal culture you are learning in!

This is not an existential threat to white power, which is the vibe Judd is projecting here. Knowing and understanding Māori legal custom and how that entwines inside the current legal system is essential for training to be a NZ Lawyer, I’m only surprised that this isn’t already the requirement!

This debate is already head bangingly stupid and it’s barely begun.

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  1. How would people feel about compulsory religious instruction for law students, because that’s a system of beliefs and a way of viewing the world?

    • Ada. Exactly. This is a belief system, not established facts. It has the potential to become a quagmire. Suggesting that her critics would be better dead is also an irresponsible way for an academic to behave, it’s a bit Joanne Kidman, and doesn’t address the actual issue.

    • For fuck sakes Ada grow a fucken brain and drop the exceptionalism my race is the best BS. Firstly tikanga also means how you conduct yourself in certain setting like burial rites, rahui, treatment of visitors, customs and value of our natural environment something pakeha settlers undermined constantly which lead to clashes with the indigenous population. When these student become lawyers in Aotearoa they would certainly come into contact with the Maori world.

      • “When these student become lawyers in Aotearoa they would certainly come into contact with the Maori world” .Damned right they will.. As duty solicitors.

    • It isn’t religious, though. And again, this is teaching about tikanga in the law, not just general tikanga. Perhaps don’t involve yourself in things you know nothing about. All of our law is informed by the values and beliefs of those who created it, including those who established this type of government and the English tradition of common law. Don’t be so deliberately blind.

    • Ok Ada, and the King Counsel represents a monarch that claims to have been divinely appointed by the sky wizard. To be consistent let’s cut all that rubbish out right now.

  2. I agree there is a debate here, but Quince showed a gross lack of judgement. She should be concentrating on raising her low ranking school’s performance.

  3. I would have thought that all laws were based on the belief that there is a right way of doing things? The obvious exception is our Creator who has laws yet even He only says “If you love me keep my commandments”.

    • Bonne. He said,” Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” Nothing about God things having to be rendered to Caesar. What a mess.

      • So what has that to do with the price of fish?
        While my reply is nonsensical I feel it is the best reply to your to my view irrelevant comment. I do understand the text you included but fail to see how it applies in this situation.

        • Bonnie. It was a trick question put to Jesus, to try and catch him out. He was asked whose law is more important, God’s or Caesar’s? He replied as I quoted above. Caesar = the state, so obey the state’s laws, pay your taxes etc ; God’s law is laid down in the Ten Commandments.

          • Thanks Annie although I understand & agree with the bit you just mentioned, it is the “Nothing about God things having to be rendered to Caesar. What a mess.” section that confuses me.
            I see that a typo crept into my earlier reply anyway

  4. Why did you bring “smart young brown woman” into it ?
    Nothing I read from Judd criticised Quince’s intelligence, age, ethnicity or gender.
    I suspect his opinion would still be the same if the Dean was a dumb old white man.

    • Brom. You forgot to say cisgender white man or mention binary. Wouldn’t make a good Green you wouldn’t .

    • Judd is motivated solely by racism. He has made that clear in many forums and many publications. This is not even within his area of legal practice, he’s a subpar commercial lawyer. I suspect that if the majority of old white men agreed with tikanga, he’d be on board to.

  5. “This is not an existential threat to white power, which is the vibe Judd is projecting here.”

    No he’s not. That vibe is only there if you are looking for it.

    • Yes, he is. It is visible here, and it is in every other piece he has published. This particular issue was consulted on years ago. He’s just now noticing. He’s not going to be a law student any time soon, and it doesn’t affect him. Most lawyers and most students support this. He should mind his own business.

  6. You don’t have to believe in something to understand it.

    Here’s a list of things I’d like to abolish because I don’t believe in them:

    Crown law
    Policing by thuggery
    Under funded and over crowded prisons lacking in basic human rights, let alone prisoner rehabilitation

    • Agreed. I learnt many things during my law degree that I disagree with. There is value in me knowing me, though.

  7. Another example of why I’m a big fan of free speech. I like to know what people are thinking, and KQ has left no room for doubt about what she thinks. On the other hand, AUT might be unimpressed about one of their employees making a complete ass of herself in public.

  8. My Māori academic friend who actually teaches this module tells me that the problem is: Whose tikanga is to be taught? Because it varies greatly between tribes due to the fact that they arrived here at different times, in different waka from different islands.

    • Which is exactly why it needs to be taught .

      Local Tikanga matters.

      Once again the European one size suits all isnt fit for the 21st century Aotearoa/New Zealand.

    • The teaching will be about tikanga’s interaction with the law, and history at law. It’s not that challenging to understand. The suggestion students will be put in a room and forced to learn the specific tikanga of each region, and then forced to subscribe to any underlying belief system, is idiotic. Clearly, you don’t understand what university is.

  9. Snow, part of me is an old sisgender white man but the other part is a sisgender brown chap. Perhaps I’m just an old sis two -tone. Damned forever to straddle the colour bar.

    • Brom. Gosh that’s sad. But all is not lost. If you were to transgenderise and become a woman, colour and ethnicity will be irrelevant and you’ll become part of a powerful elite. You may score a few advisory consultancies to government departments, write in newspapers like the Herald, and win a prize from Kiwibank. Please just be careful about what you do with your power. Superman used his power wisely, and there’s no reason why you as a super woman cannot do the same. I was only joking about you being a Green; there’s nothing to suggest you’re that loopy, and I apologise for my lapse.

  10. We have religious holidays that are compulsory in a sense. The courts and the legal systems are discriminative and racist based on my personal experience of being on both sides of the law. And some of our Judges need to retire many have antiquated views and actually cannot relate to those that stand before them hence the importance of cultural reports.

  11. Martyn – All Law School curriculum, and potential changes MUST go through the Justice Ministry to make sure it is relevant to the profession…AUT did not do this…lazy, and self-righteous from AUT

  12. What wrong with these woke pakeha claiming victimhood because law student have to take a little time out of their perceived utopia worldview to understand peoples culture that they will end up representing in some legal capacities. Get a life and could anyone please explain how has anything Maori suppressed other NZers?

  13. Tikanga is a Māori concept incorporating practices and values from mātauranga Māori, Māori knowledge. Tikanga is translated into the English language with a wide range of meanings—culture, custom, ethic, etiquette, fashion, formality, lore, manner, meaning, mechanism, method, protocol, style, customary law.

  14. It’s a box ticking exercise. A completely irrelevant expense to a already very expensive course of study. Much like the same thing that happened a few months ago with real estate. Whats next? Requiring a mechanic to learn Te Reo just in case Maori come up with a fabricated word for Pistons?

    • Most the students want it, so don’t think you need to come running to their defence, white saviour.

    • Oh boy another WOKE non Maori with limited to no experience in the maori world which has relevance in the legal circles like Treaty issues, Maoriland court, District court, High court, Family court, etc….

      • Two of the “legal circles” you mention are specialized and learned in the world of the made up as you go. The others are governed by NZ law.

  15. I can’t believe some of the cringe worthy dumb, stupid, ignorant comments I’ve read here on a supposedly left wing blog. Christ, some of them sounded like they’ve come from the KKK monthly journal. Thank God there are also plenty of you who know about the history behind, the importance of and the value of Maori Customary Law, or Tikangi. As a very short law student in the 90s, and not very good at that, I found the introduction to this so valuable to learn as a mature student, that Maori has a legal system comparable to the traditional NZ legal system. Everyone should learn about this to compare and contrast the two as a first step. For left wingers, it’s a necessity, so as to gain an insight into real “community based law”, the fundamentals of socialism.
    As for the eminent KC/QC – well, IMHO the remark made about him, is right on the nail.

  16. Oh boy another WOKE non Maori with limited to no experience in the maori world which has relevance in the legal circles like Treaty issues, Maoriland court, District court, High court, Family court, etc….

  17. Snow. Apology accepted. I may be many things, and many colours. But green will never be one of them. Loved the original greens but the current mob are the flakiest of flakes.

  18. I don’t think Quince did AUT any favours. It’s not that it’s a top ranked Uni, far from it.

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