The Association is a non-partisan independent group dedicated to the study and advancement of human rights in New Zealand and abroad. To this end, we engage in educational projects (included, but not limited to, Continued Legal Education courses), provide amicus briefs, assist in legal analysis and in the drafting of reports on human rights issues by other organisations, and undertake shadow reporting for international organisations.

We are a charitable incorporated society governed by an Advisory Council and Executive Board.


Our Advisory Council comprises seven senior and experienced lawyers and human rights experts:



DavidDavid Tong | | Web | Twitter | LinkedIn      

David is a masters student at the University of Auckland and community lawyer at the Auckland Community Law Centre. He was a founding Co-Chair of the HRLA in 2012.  He worked as a litigation solicitor at Minter Ellison Rudd Watts from 2011 until June 2013.  He worked from 2009-2010 as a judges’ clerk at the Auckland High Court.  He is a director of Greenpeace New Zealand, a member of the Human Rights Foundation‘s management committee, and an advisory trustee of P3 Foundation, which is dedicated to mobilising young New Zealanders against extreme poverty in the Asia Pacific region and has raised over $140,000 for development work since 2011.  He also chairs the New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education Limited, a charity that provides specialist education to over 700 New Zealand primary school students.

_MG_7387Andrew Britton | | Web

Andrew is a Crown prosecutor and civil litigator, and has been based in New Plymouth since the end of 2009. He recently completed a MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice degree at the University of Oxford with a focus on the interplay between the sentencing process and human rights. He is a pro bono prosecutor for the North Taranaki SPCA and is involved with the Citizens’ Advice Bureau. Before relocating to New Plymouth, Andrew worked as a corporate finance solicitor at Mayne Wetherell. He holds LLB(Hons) and BA degrees from the University of Auckland.


_MG_7384Rebecca McAllum |

Rebecca has spent the past four years working with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Most recently, Rebecca performed the role of Legal Adviser in the Rule of Law Section in the OSCE’s Sarajevo office, and was responsible for managing the Mission’s priority portfolio of hate crimes, within the context of conflict prevention.  Prior to this, Rebecca worked in central Bosnia as a Human Rights Officer. Her fieldwork included monitoring and advocacy in relation to minorities, Roma, returnees/IDPs, domestic violence, social and economic rights, and discrimination. During her time with the OSCE, Rebecca was also involved in transitional justice activities, particularly in the organisation of countrywide outreach events for victims of war crimes. Rebecca has previously worked with the UN Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the Interdisciplinary Journal for Human Rights Law. Rebecca holds a BA/LLB(Hons) from the University of Auckland and has just completed her Masters in International Human Rights Law with the University of Oxford.


_MG_7379Rebecca Thomson

Rebecca Thomson is in her third year of working at Meredith Connell, where she specialises in criminal prosecutions.  Before moving to Auckland she was a Judge’s Clerk at the Supreme Court.  She holds an LLB (Hons) and BA (Hons) from Otago University, with a research focus on democratic deliberative styles in the domestic and international spheres.  Since 2011 she has been involved with JustSpeak, a non-partisan network of young people who want change in our criminal justice system.


Board members

Nirupa George

Nirupa works for the Parliamentary Service. Previously, she was a refugee lawyer working in a boutique firm in Auckland.  Being a Tamil from Sri Lanka fostered her interest in human rights from a young age; especially in issues affecting refugees and asylum seekers.  She is a Trustee on the Human Rights Network Trust of New Zealand and has been a volunteer teacher at Poonga Tamil Community Education for over a decade. In 2012, Nirupa completed an internship at The Carter Centre, in Atlanta, in their Human Rights Program. She was Poonga’s representative at the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network forum in Seoul and the UNHCR NGO consultations in Geneva in 2013.

Bryce Lyall

Bryce is a solicitor at Kathy Ertel and Co., a boutique law firm specialising in public law, Treaty of Waitangi litigation, constitutional law, Maori land law, civil rights law, and the rights of indigenous people.

_MG_7365Rosa Polaschek

Rosa is soon to complete her BA/LLB (Hons) with a focus in Public and International Law. She will take up a position in 2015 as a Judges’ Clerk at the Auckland High Court. She has been passionately involved in justice and human rights issues for a number of years, having been involved with Amnesty International in a range of positions since high school, and as Co-Director of the Law School’s Equal Justice Project for another two years. She has also assisted with editing publications such as the NZ Human Rights Blog. Her particular interests are women’s rights, and promoting access to justice for all groups in society.

_MG_7382Nura Taefi 

Nura holds a BA/LLB from Auckland University and an LLM in Human Rights Law from University College London. Over the past 8 years, Nura has been involved with a number of non-profit organisations, including the Equal Justice Project (Auckland), Justice for Girls (Canada), Equality Now (London), and Pacific Womens Watch (Auckland). Nura is currently working as a junior barrister to Shortland Chambers. Prior to her role at Shortland Chambers Nura spent three years working at a large Auckland law firm. Nura has a keen interest in human rights law and human rights issues, particularly in the areas of children’s rights, women’s rights and discrimination law.

_MG_7368Cameron Walker

Cameron is a BA/LLB student at the University of Auckland.  He takes a keen interest in human rights issues in New Zealand and the wider Asia-Pacific region.  In 2010 and 2011 Cameron organised public meetings on the human rights implications of the Search and Surveillance Bill and Operation 8.  Since 2008 he has been an active member of Auckland Philippines Solidarity and was the New Zealand representative at the founding conference of the Asia Pacific Coordinating Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines in November 2012 in Quezon City, Philippines.  Cameron has contributed to the New Zealand Human Rights Blog and other publications.

Michael White (Wellington)

Michael is a Legal and Policy Officer at the New Zealand Human Rights Commission. He is involved in intervening in cases before the higher courts, advising on government legislation and more generally New Zealand’s human rights obligations at international law. He has practiced in a private law firm, as a government lawyer and worked with international organisations.


HRLANZ is proud to be affiliated with the New Zealand Centre for Human Rights Law, Policy and Practice.