Lawyer Profiles

The following profiles provide an indication as to the variety of work and career paths on offer to government lawyers:

Michael Allan

Principal Solicitor: Environmental Protection Authority

Working as an in-house public sector lawyer appealed for two main reasons: the opportunity to learn from a highly capable and experienced team and the chance to gain exposure to a wide variety of work. Both have exceeded my expectations.

I currently work as a Solicitor at the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). The legal team supports the EPA to deliver on its responsibilities and strategic direction by identifying and managing legal risk, providing specialist legal advice, and by promoting good regulatory practices across the EPA. I feel incredibly privileged to be part of a team of dedicated professionals who are passionate about the EPA’s role in protecting the environment. Read more...

Nerissa Barber

Chief Legal Advisor: Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Nerissa Low
My role allows me to combine my interests in the culture and heritage sector with fascinating legal work.

I currently work at the Ministry for Culture and Heritage - Manatū Taonga. I am very fortunate as this role allows me to combine my interest in the cultural and heritage sector with fascinating legal work.

While a small government department (around 130 people) the Ministry has a busy and varied work programme looking after many of the cornerstones of New Zealand’s diverse culture and protecting symbols of our nationhood: recording New Zealand’s history through Te Ara (the online encyclopedia), helping to protect Māori cultural objects (taonga tūturu), overseeing the legitimate exportation of New Zealand’s cultural products and supporting New Zealand’s museums through a regional museums’ funding programme. Read more...

Matthew Andrews

General Counsel: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Matthem andrews
Our work has a broader rule of law impact which is good not just for the Crown but for everyone.

Throughout my career, I have tended to work on matters with a commercial focus.  I joined Crown Law in February 2011 after gaining experience in the private sector, where I regularly provided advice to both private and public sector clients. A career in the public sector appealed to me for two main reasons: the variety of the work and the opportunity to be involved earlier in advice and litigation matters than is often the case in the private sector. Being able to influence things at an earlier stage was a definite attraction. Read more...

Frank Hippolite

Senior Solicitor: Te Puni Kōkiri

A career in the public service appealed to me because it allows me to contribute to and facilitate the work of Māori development.

I am currently a Senior Solicitor at Te Puni Kōkiri/ the Ministry of Māori Development in Wellington. I have worked as a Manager of the Ngai Tahu Law Centre, where I appeared in all the Māori Land Courts in Te Waipounamu. I have been a senior solicitor for Te Tumu Paeroa appearing in all the Maori Land courts in the North Island. I have managed an iwi owned environmental company protecting Māori environmental interests for Iwi of Te Tau Ihu. Read more...

Yi Nicholl

Deputy Treasury Solicitor and Kaiwhakahaere Roia/Manager: The Treasury


What I find most fulfilling about working as a lawyer in Government is the opportunity to work on important issues that make a difference for Aotearoa New Zealand.

Kia ora.  I’m the Deputy Treasury Solicitor and Manager, Commercial and Finance at Te Tai Ōhanga / the Treasury.  I’ve worked across a range of organisations advising on commericial, corporate, public and regulatory law both here in New Zealand and in the UK. Read more... 

Hiranthi Abeygoonesekera

Director: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

I find working in government exciting because it gives me an opportunity to be part of some significant initiatives that support the people of New Zealand. Being a government lawyer has helped me understand the machinery of government and be appreciative of the challenges it faces.

I work as one of the Directors in the Legal Ethics and Privacy Branch (LEAP) of the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment. We have four Directors in our branch and we either lead high risk and complex matters or support the different legal teams to navigate through difficult situations. Read more... 


Malama Mahe

Senior Solicitor: Ministry for Culture and Heritage

I work alongside smart, caring, value-driven, and motivated kaimahi who strive to provide considered, sound and easy to understand advice and counsel so that positive outcomes and workable solutions are reached for the benefit of the communities and people that need it.

Mālō e lelei and kia ora. I am a Poutoko Ture Matua, Senior Solicitor at Manatū Taonga where we are guided by the saying: Ki te puāwai te ahurea, Ka ora te iwi; Culture is thriving, The people are well, which are the coordinates that help direct our energy and effort to seeing cultural diversity in Aotearoa flourish. Read more...


Dawn Kerrison

Deputy Chief Legal Adviser: Ministry of Transport

He uri ahau nō Ngāti Mākino. Ko Dawn Kerrison tōku ingoa. I have worked for various public sector agencies since graduating university in 2013. You could say that I “fell into” working in-house. While studying, I was not attracted to joining one of the big firms, but unaware of the opportunities and variety working as a Solicitor within the public service provided. Read more...