The University of Auckland
Report to the University Council on Implementation of the Increase
in Numbers of Students Enrolled in Part 2 of the Law Programme
Professor Stuart McCutcheon, Vice-Chancellor
Professor Andrew Stockley, Dean of Law
By way of background, it is worth recalling that the regulation of programme limitations
is an obligation placed on the Council by statute. Section 224(5) of the Education Act
1989 states: Where the council of an institution is satisfied that it is necessary to do so because of
insufficiency of staff, accommodation or equipment, the council may determine the
maximum number of students who may be enrolled in a particular course of study or
training at the institution in a particular year
The basis on which restrictions may be applied is thus very clear – insufficiency of staff,
accommodation or equipment
- and the default option, if these resources are not
“insufficient”, is that students must be admitted. Issues such as whether graduates will
be able to get jobs in their chosen field are not matters on which restrictions may be
applied. The question is solely one of resources. Report
The Minutes of the 19 October 2016 meeting of the University Council record the
“That the restriction on the maximum number of students who may be enrolled in Part 2
of the Law programme be increased to 380 students in 2017 and that the Vice-
Chancellor and the Dean be required to report to Council in May 2017 on
Because the meeting schedule subsequently agreed to by Council did not include a May
meeting, this report is submitted to the 19 June meeting.
In reporting here we have addressed the implementation issues referred to in the Act –
staff and accommodation (equipment is not an issue). We then address related issues to
do with entry standards and the support of Māori and Pacific students. Together, these
are the main issues that arose during discussions and consultation within the Law School
between June and October 2016 and in the Council discussion on 19 October 2016.
During the preparation of this report, we asked all members of staff for any comments
related to the implementation of the increase in Part 2 student numbers that they would
like us to consider. We received 13 individual submissions, the great majority of them
very positive about the implementation. We also received a paper prepared by five
members of the academic staff (Treasa Dunworth, Anna Hood, Amokura Kawharu, Jo
Manning, Janet McLean) and signed by 26 others. This paper was generally negative
about the implementation. Although signed by 31 staff members, it contained
statements that were plainly incorrect (e.g. an assertion that the student:staff ratio had
increased from 30:1 in 2016 to 41.5:1 in 2017 - a mathematical impossibility from a
15% increase in Part 2 numbers in a single year).
The authors of the submission signed by 31 staff requested that it be provided to
Council. That request was declined by the Vice-Chancellor, for the following reasons.
The resolution of the 19 October 2016 meeting of Council specified that it was the Vice-
Chancellor and the Dean who were to report to Council. Although we were not required
to do so, we sought the views of staff in the Faculty. As noted below, we have taken
those views into account in preparing our report.
In total, we received 14 sets of comments from staff. It would be procedurally improper
for only one of those responses to be provided to Council. However, if, having received
our report, Council wishes to see all the responses then it will be in a position to ask for
them. We will then need to communicate with each person who provided a response to
determine whether or not they wish that response to be provided to Council.
We have read all the submissions carefully and taken account of them in preparing this
report. However, it is our report and in preparing it we have relied on what we believe to
be verifiable facts about the implementation of the increase in Part 2 numbers. We have
not addressed matters included in submissions that were not relevant to the
implementation of the increased Part 2 numbers (e.g. changes that have occurred in Law
unrelated to the increase in numbers, speculation about what might happen in the
future). Sufficiency of Staff
Appointment of academic staff
Because the Law School had at the time a number of vacancies arising due to
retirements and staff being appointed to chairs and other positions elsewhere, and the
increased number of students would require additional staff, there was concern about
whether the required staff appointments could be made in time.
The Vice-Chancellor agreed to front-load the additional staffing positions, something that
has not been done in any other faculty (where budgets and therefore staffing positions
grow with the increased numbers of students).
Six new members of the permanent academic staff were appointed at the end of 2016.
They are listed below, with further details provided in the first appendix to this
Associate Professor: Vincent Cogliati-Bantz
Associate Professor: Nicole Roughan
Senior Lecturer: Rob Batty
Senior Lecturer: Katherine Doolin
Senior Lecturer: Anastasia Telesetsky
Lecturer: Fleur Te Aho
Seven fixed-term junior faculty hires have also been made, the first two on a full-time
basis and the others on a significant part-time basis. They are listed below, with further
details provided in the first appendix to this document.
Fixed-Term Lecturer: Nikki Chamberlain
Fixed-Term Lecturer: Henry Kha
Doctoral Teaching Fellow: Sophie Henderson
Teaching Fellow Nga Kai Whakaako: Jayden Houghton
Teaching Fellow Nga Kai Whakaako: Tracey Whare
Teaching Fellow Susuga Faiako: Dylan Asafo
Teaching Fellow Susuga Faiako: Lotu Fuli
Fixed-term positions provide a good starting point for lawyers and law graduates
interested in pursuing an academic career, as well as bringing a range of experiences
and teaching specialities into the Law School.
As an experiment for 2017, the first two of these junior faculty hires are acting as
organising tutors in two of the three Part 2 courses where student numbers have
increased (taking tutorials and helping provide consistency to the tutorial programmes in
these subjects). They are also running workshops/ clinics (including running through
practice questions and answering student questions) in these courses. These are new
innovations. By offering workshops/ clinics in two of the three Part 2 subjects where
student numbers have increased, the Law School will be able to experiment with how to
provide more assistance to students through this sort of format and to survey how
helpful this has been.
A working group has been established in the Law School to re-examine teaching delivery
and assessment during the course of the year.
The Teaching Fellow Nga Kai Whakaako and Teaching Fellow Susuga Faiako positions are
respectively specialist academic support positions for Māori and Pasifika students.
As a result of the appointments mentioned above and other adjunct teaching, the Law
School is offering a full range of law courses, including a number more LLB courses than
advertised in the electives handbook. An Aviation Law course is being taught by the
world’s leading authority, Professor Paul Dempsey (former Director of the Institute of Air
and Space Law at McGill University). Partners of Meredith Connell, the Crown Solicitors
in Auckland, are teaching courses in Trial Advocacy and Appellate Advocacy.
Teaching in all compulsory courses is covered for 2017, and for 2018 can already be
covered by existing staff and the new hires made in 2016.
The University’s official calculation of student:staff ratios shows that as of 1 May 2017
the Law School has an SSR of 28.8 as compared to a ratio of 29.5 in 2016. This will
further improve in July with three new permanent staff starting (against one retirement
A recruitment round is underway for further permanent academic staff. This will also
take account of retirements occurring during the next 18 months.
Several of the individual submissions from staff commented favourably on the new
academic staff appointed. One submission argued that the fixed term academic staff do
not contribute as much as permanent staff and require a lot of support. The first point is
true of any early career staff member, fixed-term or permanent. There has been
extremely positive feedback on the teaching provided by the new full-time fixed term
appointees and the two staff mentoring them say that they do not require unusually high
levels of support.
One submission claimed that there has been a net loss in academic staff numbers in
recent years and there are consequently academic staff shortages. In fact, since 2011
33% more permanent academic staff have been employed than have retired or left to
take up other positions, despite the fact that EFTS have stayed relatively constant.
The same submission claimed that the Law Faculty has struggled for a long time to
appoint academics in the Council of Legal Education subjects lists. This is not true. Very
good teachers have been hired into all these areas as needed.
The listed subjects and staff employed since 2011 are:
Criminal Law – two permanent staff in 2016
Public Law - there has not yet been a need to employ more academics in this
Torts - one new permanent staff member and one junior faculty member in
2011; one new permanent staff member able to teach into Torts hired in 2016
Contract Law – all four current professors and lecturers in this field were hired in
2011, 2012 and 2014
Land Law - one junior faculty hire made in in 2015
Equity - two new permanent staff were hired in 2011 and 2014 and a further two
permanent staff able to teach into Equity were hired in 2016
Legal Ethics - one new permanent staff member able to teach in this field was
hired in 2016.
Appointment of professional staff
Concern was expressed that there would be insufficient professional staff to support the
increased numbers of students.
Again, as with academic staff appointments, the Vice-Chancellor agreed to front-load
additional professional staffing positions, something that has not been done in any other
Four new professional staff positions have been created. This represents a 20 percent
increase in general and administrative staff support for the Law Faculty. The new
Student Academic and Support Adviser: Jemimah Khoo
(This provides the Law School with a dedicated student adviser for Part 1 students,
freeing up the Pouawhina Māori and Pacific Student Adviser to be able to focus
exclusively on assisting Māori and Pacific students in the Law School.)
Student Support and Experience Adviser: Tessa Sillifant
(This position provides the Law School with more administrative support for its co-
curricular programmes, such as mooting and community placements, for the new
student well-being initiatives it has introduced, and for special test arrangements.)
Academic Services Coordinator: Nancy Wong
(This position provides the Law School with more course work and examination
processing capacity, which is important as it moves to all written work being submitted
electronically and anonymously and to students being able to sit examinations on
Employer Engagement Manager: Clodagh Higgins
(This is currently a fixed-term position charged with scoping the provision of better
careers assistance, and mentoring for law students about the local and global
opportunities for practising law and the non-law career opportunities available.)
We have received very positive feedback about the new professional staff who have been
appointed and what they are already achieving in the new positions created, including
the new careers support service, weekly student newsletter and the improved support
now available for disadvantaged and at-risk students. Academic staff have commented
on the benefits they receive from the additional functions undertaken by professional
staff colleagues in consequence of their greater number, freeing up academic time for
teaching and research.
Sufficiency of Accommodation
Concern was expressed that there would not be sufficient space to accommodate the
additional 50 students and additional staff.
The Vice-Chancellor agreed to address this issue by front-loading space (i.e. providing it
ahead of the increase in numbers). The Law School has been allocated an additional 814
square metres of space, providing more study, common room and office space, and
giving a lot of flexibility for the next few years.
This has occurred by making two more floors available to the Law School in the Short
Street building, giving it four of the seven floors of this building.
A very large room (over 200 square metres) on Level 4 has been set up to provide more
study space for law students. It has tables, study carrels, and library computers.
Students can bring their laptops to work there. There is also an adjoining printing room
and an adjacent kitchen area.
There are another two large rooms on the fourth floor that have been allocated to Te
Rākau Ture (the Māori Law Students Association) and the Pacific Island Law Students’
Association. Both rooms provide large common areas and study spaces. The smaller
rooms these societies occupied on the second floor have been re-assigned to the Mooting
Society and to Rainbow Law. The Mooting Society’s previous room in Building 801 (near
the Student Common Room) is being made into a Parenting Room. Rainbow Law had
requested a common room for LGBT+ students within the Law School and this has now
Level 5 has 21 academic and other offices, a staff kitchen, 2 technology rooms, and an
internal larger room. Not all this area has yet been occupied but it has meant the Law
School has sufficient space for all the new academic and professional staff for the next
few years and for academic visitors. The total amount of additional space allocated is
greater than that which would be justified by the increase in student numbers.
Many of the individual staff submissions commented very favourably on the additional
space provided, noting that many students had been extremely positive about the new
study and student society spaces. One submission commented that the new student
study space is a long way from the Davis Law Library and lecture theatres on the main
campus, meaning this space is frequently under-utilised. This does not reflect student
and other feedback received and the 3 to 4 minute walk from the Davis Law Library does
not seem to have been a barrier to access. The new student study space is above the
Law School’s Student Centre, adjacent to the common rooms for Māori and Pacific
students, and close to many staff offices. Good numbers of students have been using it. Other matters (not addressed in s.224 Education Act 1989)
Student entry standards
There were claims that increasing the Part 2 intake would lower the standards of
students entering the programme.
In fact, the Grade Point Average of the 380 students admitted to Part 2 this year (6.5) is
than that of the 330 admitted last year (6.4). In statistical terms the
difference is not real, but the point is that the GPA of the larger cohort is no lower than
that of the smaller cohort last year. 6.5 is half-way between a B plus and an A minus
average and is considerably higher than the GPA required to enter Part 2 law at the
other New Zealand law schools.
The fact that the Grade Point Average for admission to Part 2 Law has not declined was
commented on favourably in staff submissions. One submission noted that 480 students
received a GPA of B+ or better. Support of Māori and Pacific students
Finally, there was concern that resource pressures associated with the increased
numbers would lead to Māori and Pacific students being disadvantaged. This is not the
Increasing the second year intake has allowed for more places under the Targeted
Admissions Scheme. The Dean has agreed with Te Tai Haruru (Māori staff and student
leaders in the Law School) that rather than have a fixed quota of places, any Māori
student who meets the minimum requirement for second year law under the Targeted
Admissions Scheme will be able to be admitted. The number of Pacific students admitted
under the Law School’s Targeted Admissions scheme has almost doubled (having not
been increased since 1993, despite a significant increase in the Pacific population in
For 2017 there were 30 Māori students and 33 Pacific students admitted into second
year law (some under general admission and some under the Targeted Admissions
Scheme). The respective figures in 2016 were 30 and 20 (see Table below).
Māori student offers under general
Māori student offers under TAS
Total number of Māori students
Pacific student offers under general
Pacific student offers under TAS
Total number of Pacific students
More support is being provided for Māori and Pacific students, including the provision of
better common room and study space, as mentioned above, the Māori and Pacific
student advisers being able to focus exclusively on these roles with the creation of a Part
1 student adviser, and the two Nga Kai Whakaako and two Susuga Faiako half-time
teaching fellowships being created to provide more academic support and mentoring for
Māori and Pacific law students and to help maintain and improve the quality of the Māori
and Pacific academic programmes.
Staff submissions reported that Māori and Pacific student leaders have commented very
favourably on the new study and community spaces provided. There has been very
positive feedback about the appointment of the two Nga Kai Whakaako and two Susuga
Faiako half-time teaching fellows, the academic assistance they are giving to students,
and the improvements they are leading in the Māori and Pacific academic tutorial
programmes. One submission claimed that these appointments were not contingent on
the increase in student numbers. That is not correct.
The same submission expressed concern that Pacific students are being admitted to Part
2 Law under the Targeted Admissions Scheme on a significantly lower Grade Point
Average than previously and that there is insufficient support for the large increase in
Pacific student numbers. The lower Grade Point Average for admission is an expected
consequence of almost double the number of places being made available to Pacific
students under this scheme. The Grade Point Average cut-off is now similar to that of
Māori students admitted under the scheme. The Pacific student programme has the
same level of professional staff support as the Māori student programme and the
academic support provided for Pacific students has been significantly boosted by the
appointment of the two Susuga Faiako half-time teaching fellows. We can consider the
Grade Point Average cut-off and how to provide more support if needed. Conclusion
As this report demonstrates, we have been able to provide additional staff and
accommodation to meet the requirements of the additional 50 students (indeed, the
front-loading of academic positions and space has been ahead of the growth in student
numbers). Student:staff ratios have improved . The matters relevant to s.224(5) of the
Education Act have therefore been addressed.
In addition, entry standards have been maintained, there has been a significant increase
in numbers of Pacific students and Mãori and Pacific students have received improved
support. Overall, the implementation of the increase has been very successful.
12 June 2017
Faculty of Law: New Academic Staff Members
Cogliati-Bantz, Vincent – starts July 2017; Associate Professor
o He has a diploma from the prestigious French National Institute of Political
Studies, an LLM in Ocean and Coastal Law from the University of Miami,
and an LLM and PhD from the Graduate Institute of International Studies
in Geneva. He has published three books with leading publishers and has
signed a fourth book contract with Cambridge University Press. He
regularly publishes in international journals such as the American Journal
of International Law and the International and Comparative Law Quarterly.
His work on the law of the sea is widely cited by leading scholars in the
field. Vincent’s teaching interests are in international and comparative law,
including the law of the sea, EU law, and the law of international
organisations. He has also taught the law of trusts while a Faculty member
at the University of Queensland.
o He will be teaching law of the sea in the second semester and helping lead
the development of the new first year law paper, Legal Foundations,
starting in July 2018.
Roughan, Nicole – starts January 2018; Associate Professor
o She has BA/ LLB degrees from Auckland, an LLM (with Distinction) from
Victoria, and an LLM and SJD from Yale. She taught at Victoria, the
University of Kent at Brussels, and Cambridge, before joining the Law
Faculty at the National University of Singapore, where she is currently an
Associate Professor and the Deputy Director of the Centre for Legal
Theory. Her book Authorities: Conflicts, Cooperation and Transnational
was published by Oxford University Press to critical acclaim.
Nicole currently teaches Jurisprudence, and Equity and Trusts, and has
previously also taught Legal Ethics, Public Law, International Law,
Contract, and introductory and skills papers. She was awarded a
prestigious Rutherford Discovery Fellowship last year.
Batty, Rob – starts July 2017; Senior Lecturer
o He has a Masters in Commercial Law with First Class Honours from
Auckland and worked as an intellectual property lawyer at Simpson
Grierson, Auckland and Freehills, Melbourne, before joining the
Commercial Law Department in the Business School. During his 7 years as
an academic he has won a University Early Career Teaching Award and
published in a variety of journals including the New Zealand Universities
, the New Zealand Law Review
, and the European Intellectual
. His writing on trademarks has attracted considerable
peer esteem. Rob’s teaching interests include intellectual property,
copyright law, and employment law.
o He will be teaching the first year paper, Legal Method, in the second
Doolin, Katherine – starts January 2018; Senior Lecturer
o She has an LLB (with First Class Honours) from Waikato and a PhD from
the University of Kent. She has taught at the University of Kent and, for
the last 13 years, at the University of Birmingham, where she is a Senior
Lecturer and heads the Law School's student development and support
programmes. Katherine is co-author and co-editor of books on Criminal
Justice. She teaches Criminal Law and a range of associated electives,
including Criminology, Youth Justice, and Restorative Justice.
Telesetsky, Anastasia – starts July 2017; Senior Lecturer
o She has a JD from the University of California Berkeley and an LLM from
the University of British Columbia. She is a tenured professor at the
University of Idaho and has published widely on marine resource
governance, environmental law issues, and disaster law. She has co-
authored a monograph, co-edited two books, written chapters in books
with leading presses, and published in a range of specialist journals.
Anastasia’s teaching interests include resource management law, conflicts
of law, comparative law, and international human rights law.
o She is teaching Conflicts of Law in the second semester and directing the
Part 2 Legal Research, Writing and Communication programme.
Te Aho, Fleur – started January 2017; Lecturer
o Fleur has a BA in Maori Studies and an LLB (Honours) (1st Class) from the
University of Canterbury, an LLM (with Distinction) from Victoria University
and a PhD from the Australian National University. She has most recently
been a Research Associate at the ANU National Centre for Indigenous
Studies. She has published in the New Zealand Journal of Public and
and the New Zealand Yearbook of International Law
(including a number of review articles in the latter), in addition to book
o She is teaching Criminal Law in 2017.
Chamberlain, Nikki – started February 2017; Fixed Term Faculty Lecturer
o Nikki has BA/ LLB (Honours) degrees from Auckland, has been a Senior
Associate at Minter Ellison Rudd Watts, and has most recently taught Legal
Writing at the Vanderbilt University Law School
o She is teaching the Law of Torts and Family Property Law in 2017. She is
organising the tutorial programme, taking tutorials and clinics/ workshops
in the Law of Torts.
Kha, Henry – started February 2017; Fixed Term Faculty Lecturer
o Henry is completing his doctorate at the University of Queensland on
divorce law in Victorian England. He has a JD from the University of New
South Wales and a BA (Hons) from the University of Sydney. He has won
prizes and scholarships at all three universities and has published in the Journal of Legal History
, the Australasian Dispute Resolution Journal
the Bond Law Review
. His primary research interests are in Family Law
and Legal History and his teaching interests include Family, Contract,
Torts, Equity and Trusts. Henry has worked as a solicitor and as an
Associate to judges of the Family Court of Australia. He is a Justice of the
Peace in New South Wales.
o He is teaching Family Law in 2017. He is organising the tutorial
programme, taking tutorials and clinics/ workshops in Contract Law.
Henderson, Sophie – started March 2017; Doctoral Teaching Fellow
o Sophie has a LLB and a Masters of Criminal Law with Distinction from the
University of Leeds. She has been awarded the first doctoral teaching
fellowship in the Law School. Her thesis will examine the legal rights and
protections in place for female migrant domestic workers from the
Philippines and Sri Lanka.
o She is taking Criminal Law tutorials in 2017.
Hougton, Jayden – started March 2017
; Teaching Fellow Nga Kai
o Jayden has BA/ LLB(Hons) degrees from Auckland and was a Senior
Scholar in 2016. He is currently enrolled for an LLM. He has tutored in Law
and Society, Legal Method, Criminal Law, Equity, Jurisprudence, and
taught on the Legal Research, Writing and Communication programme. He
has research interests in legal theory, legal history, intellectual property,
family law and aspects of finance law. He is Editor in Chief of the Auckland
University Law Review
and has received a large number of University
prizes and awards. He is of Ngati Maniapoto – Rereahu.
Whare, Tracey – started March 2017; Teaching Fellow Nga Kai Whakaako
o Tracey has an LLB from Victoria and is currently enrolled for an LLM. She
was the Secretariat of the indigenous global coordinating group for the UN
World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, has been a solicitor in two law
firms, and a legal adviser to Ngai Tahu. She has published in the New
Zealand Yearbook of International Law and has a book chapter
forthcoming. Tracey whakapapas to Ngati Raukawa and Te Whanau-a-
Asafo, Dylan – started March 2017
; Teaching Fellow Susuga Faiako
o Dylan has LLB and Bachelor of Health Science degrees from Auckland and
is enrolling for an LLM. He has worked in the Office of the Health and
Disability Commissioner, and is a past president of the Pacific Islands Law
Students’ Association. He is of Samoan descent.
Fuli, Lotu – started March 2017
; Teaching Fellow Susuga Faiako
o Lotu has an LLB(Hons) degree from Auckland and is enrolling for an LLM.
She has been a secondary teacher and has tutored Law and Society, Legal
Method, and Equity in the Law School and taught Legal Writing. She is the
Chairperson for the Otara- Papatoetoe Local Board and has recently been
appointed as a Referee to the Disputes Tribunal. She is of Samoan
Faculty of Law: New Professional Staff Members
Student Academic and Support Adviser (Part I)
: Jemimah Khoo
Jemimah was previously Reception, Facilities and Administration Assistant in the Law
School and has experience in providing advice and guidance to Part I students.
Student Support and Experience Adviser
: Tessa Sillifant
Tessa has extensive experience from the Engineering Faculty where she was responsible
for introducing and overseeing student engagement initiatives and student wellbeing
Academic Services Coordinator
: Nancy Wong
Nancy had recently been working at Massey University and also has over 10 years’
experience at the University of Auckland, working in administrative and student-facing
Employer Engagement Manager
: Clodagh Higgins
Clodagh was previously Employer Liaison Manager at the Faculty of Business and
Economics. Prior to this she was the Faculty’s Student Development Adviser. She has a
Bachelor of Social Science from University College Dublin and a Master of Science from
the University of Edinburgh.