531 PI
Niu FM
PMN News
​Judge Ali'imuamua Sandra Alofivae at her swearing in ceremony at Manukau District Court. Photo/Twitter

​Judge Ali'imuamua Sandra Alofivae at her swearing in ceremony at Manukau District Court. Photo/Twitter

Photo/ Twitter

Law & Order

PMN's Summer Series: 'So help me God'- Samoan lawyer sworn in as District Court Judge

Ali’imuamua Sandra Alofivae takes on the title of District Court Judge, a position held by only 200 people in New Zealand.

Khalia Strong
Khalia Strong
12 January 2024, 7:31am
Copy Link

Welcome to PMN's Summer Series, where we republish some of our best and most popular stories from the last 12 months - in largely their original form.

Samoan barrister Ali'imuamua Sandra Alofivae has been sworn in as a district court judge, with a general jurisdiction.

Supporters gathered at the Manukau District Court yesterday for the swearing in.

“I will do right to all manner of people after the laws and usages of New Zealand, without fear or favour, affection or ill-will, so help me God.”

She joins the ranks of other female Pacific judges such as Ida Malosi, Lope Ginnen, Soana Moala and most recently, Tania Sharkey​.

Ali'imuamua helped establish the esteemed Pacific law firm KAM Legal which has now produced six judges.


In an earlier interview with PMN News, Ali’imuamua says cultural understanding or knowing a Pacific language wasn’t valued at the time.

“In 1994, three of us wahine, two Sāmoan, one Māori, started a law firm. The reason we did that was basically so that we could be employed, because we had these law degrees and we needed to know how to use them.”

Ali’imuamua was a founding member of the Pacific Lawyers Association and was one of the first lawyers appointed to the Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Court in Auckland.

More recently, she has worked as a commissioner for the Royal Inquiry into Historical Abuse in Care, where she discussed how she deals with the emotional load of her work.

“You really have to dig deep and you have to have something that anchors you to be able to carry that maemae, to be able to carry that vulnerability, and for me it’s my faith and having really good, supportive people around me.”