Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Tuesday, April 23, 2019
University of Otago - Two honorary doctorates to be awarded in May
Two honorary doctorates to be awarded in May
Two Otago Alumni will be conferred with honorary
doctorates at May graduation ceremonies next month.
Hon Justice Forrest Miller
Honourable Justice Forrest (Forrie) Miller’s contribution to the
modernisation of New Zealand’s court systems will be recognised when he
receives an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Otago at its
18 May graduation ceremony.
Born in South Otago in 1956, Justice Miller gained a Bachelor of
Arts (History) from Otago in 1978 and an LLB with honours in 1981.
After his studies he worked in Alexandra for Bodkins Solicitors
and in the mid-1980s moved to Wellington to join Chapman Tripp, where he worked
in a range of general practice areas, including commercial and public law
litigation (specialising in securities) and regulatory and competition law. He
became a partner at the firm in 1987.
He was appointed to the High Court of New Zealand in 2004, and to
the Court of Appeal in 2013.
In 2013 he also became one of the first New Zealanders to receive
the Australian Institute of Judicial Administration Award for Excellence.
The award jury recognised his efforts establishing the Earthquake
Commission list, created in 2011, which was aimed at reducing the burden on the
courts system by dealing with cases efficiently in the wake of the Christchurch
earthquakes. All case-managed
conferences – where judges and lawyers meet before the litigation process to
resolve differences – were managed by Justice Miller until his appointment to
the Court of Appeal in 2013.
Before his appointment to the Court of
Appeal the Judge was heavily involved in reforms which reducing waiting lists
for civil hearings in the High Court.
Justice Miller has been
instrumental in developing electronic casebooks, which are now routinely used
for hearings in the Court of Appeal. He chairs the Judicial
Reference Group, which is a cross-bench committee working with the Ministry of
Justice to modernise the court system
by, among other things, developing an electronic filing and case
management system for all New Zealand courts.
He also chairs the Judicial Libraries Management Board, which
exercises governance responsibilities over the quality of judicial libraries.
The Board’s current focus is on improving judges' access to electronic
resources, to ensure they have access to important works from the judicial
Justice Miller has maintained strong links with the University’s
Faculty of Law and has often returns to Otago to judge student competitions. He
has also engaged with research in the Faculty, including a 2018 Legal Issues
Centre report on delays in the High Court to which he contributed feedback and
He has also served as chairman of Unison Networks Ltd, the
electricity distributor for the Hawke’s Bay, Rotorua and Taupo regions, and as
a Wellington Girls’ College Board of Trustees member.
18 May graduation ceremony at 4 pm (Commerce and Law) Justice Forrest Miller,
Court of Appeal, Hon LLD
Williams, the founder of New Zealand’s leading specialist non-fiction press and
alumna of the University of Otago, will receive an honorary Doctorate of
Literature on 18 May.
Williams (ONZM MBE) is considered a hugely influential figure in New Zealand
letters and publishing, and an outstanding graduate of the University of Otago,
where she completed a Bachelor of Arts.
initial foray into intellectual life was in Oxford as a research assistant to
literary scholars Dame Helen Gardner and Richard Ellmann. After a stint at
Oxford University Press in the United Kingdom, Ms Williams returned to New Zealand
in 1976. She worked initially for the New Zealand branch of Oxford University
Press, where she helped shape what would become the Oxford History of New
Zealand, a volume that marked the coming of age of New Zealand historical
she struck out into independent publishing, founding Port Nicholson Press in
Wellington. Taking this small New Zealand firm into multi-national ownership
with Allen & Unwin Australia in the mid-1980s, Ms Williams became the
managing director of Allen & Unwin New Zealand.In that capacity, she established a
publishing partnership with the multi-volume Dictionary of New Zealand
Biography as well as important scholarly works such as Claudia Orange’s The
Treaty of Waitangi.In these years
too, her publishing reflected the new engagement with feminist writing, and she
had a key role in establishing the nationwide Listener Women’s Book Festival.
she established Bridget Williams Books, a press that has risen to become New
Zealand’s leading specialist non-fiction press. She has worked with New
Zealand’s leading social scientists and humanities scholars, producing a large
number of award-winning volumes.Significant amongst these has been a commitment to works on Maori
history, with the landmark Tangata Whenua:
An Illustrated History by Atholl Anderson, Judith Binney and Aroha Harris
published to acclaim in 2014.In recent
years the BWB Texts Series – short, moderately-priced volumes – have catalysed
public debate over a range of pressing cultural and political issues.
respected in the world of publishing, Bridget Williams has played an integral
role in facilitating public conversations in New Zealand, its history, identity
and politics, she has been extremely influential in shaping New Zealand intellectual
life and cultural debate.
Sat 18 May
graduation ceremony at 1 pm (Humanities) Bridget Williams, Publisher, Hon LittD