Mai is one of NZ’s top constitutional and administrative law experts, specialising in central and local Government policy and legislation, and litigating major public law cases. Mai also specialises in evidential issues concerning cultural and linguistically diverse litigants. Mai is also a judicial review specialist. She is a Barrister with over 30 years of experience in Public and Administrative Law, Te Tiriti o Waitangi Issues, regulatory, judicial review, inquiries and reviews and employment law issues. She has also worked extensively in law and policy reform, as the cases below show, she has also had extensive advocacy experience from the Supreme Court down to various Tribunals.
Mai was named in the Top 50 Diversity Figures in Public Life in the Global Diversity List, supported by The Economist. Mai specialises in advising Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) parties in the Courts, especially in areas of regulatory breach and enforcement.
Mai advises on complex employment issues for boards and CEOs and has expertise on investigations and governance issues. She has acted for public and private organisations and is a top legal problem solver and litigator. She is known as a creative problem solver, often of last resort when conventional legal thinking has been tried and failed. She has a gift for settling difficult legal problems. She has a good strategic brain and can pretty accurately predict what is likely to happen and thus how best to prevent a certain decision or achieve a particular outcome. Mai is also a thought leader, a direction setter and a futures thinker.
Mai is approved by the New Zealand Law Society to take direct instructions from clients in certain situations.
Click here for further information about Mai.
Antonia Di Maio
Special Counsel & Research Lead
Antonia is Superdiversity Institute’s Principal report writer. She is also a Barrister at Public Law Toolbox Chambers. Formerly an Investigator and then Principal Advisor at the Office of the Ombudsmen, Antonia has over 15 years of experience advising the New Zealand Ombudsmen on the exercise of their functions, and standards of good public administration, decision making and dispute resolution.
Antonia was integral in the development of the online guidance for Government departments on New Zealand Sign Language Act for the Office of Disability Issues. It covers the purpose and the principles of the NZSL Act, the obligations on Government departments and what they mean in practice for government departments, and how those departments can measure their compliance with the purpose, principles and obligations under the NZSL Act.
Leo is a former Ombudsman from 2016-2018, and Deputy Ombudsman from 2004-2016. He has also occupied the roles of Assistant Ombudsman, Senior Investigating Officer, and Investigating Officer with the Office of the Ombudsman, and previously worked for the Parliamentary Counsel Office. Leo graduated with an LLB from Victoria University of Wellington and was admitted to the High Court of New Zealand in 1981.
Leo has been a champion for diversity in the public sector and will be building on that experience to advise private and public sector clients on managing the challenges and opportunities of a superdiverse society. Leo will be advising clients on the their diversity and inclusion strategies, delivering Cultural Intelligence (CQ) training, and to assist with its research into the implications superdiversity has for workplace health and safety, and other areas of law and policy.
Leo is of New Zealand and Japanese ethnicity.
Superdiversity Council members include:
- Mai Chen (Chair)
- Cathy Parker, Publisher, Adrenalin Publishing
- David Tse, Director of Sales and Marketing, Jade
- Dr Hinemoa Elder, Te Whare Wānanga o Awawnuiārangi, Māori Strategic Leader CoRE Ageing Brain, University of Auckland
- Kayo Sakey, Strategic Advisor
- Kiri Nathan, Founder/Director, Kiri Nathan Ltd
- Mitchell Pham, Co-founder, Director, Augen Software Group
- Nikhil Ravishankar, Chief Digital Officer, Vector
- Priti Ambani, Director of Innovation, Tech Futures Lab
- Rob Campbell CNZM CFInstD , Director
- Sameer Handa, Managing Director, Glowbal NZ