ACT Deputy Leader Hon Ken Shirley is today calling for an urgent inquiry into serious allegations against High Court
Judge & Chairman of the Waitangi Tribunal, Justice Eddie Durie and his lawyer wife, Donna Hall.
"The allegation that the Chairman of the Waitangi Tribunal prepared legal briefs for his lawyer wife to the Tribunal is
very, very serious.
"It would be intolerable to accept that the Chairman of the Tribunal, who is also the husband of Donna Hall, actively
participated in the preparation of some of those cases.
"The allegations are possibly the most serious ever made against the integrity of the New Zealand judiciary and
potentially they cut to the heart of governance and democracy in New Zealand. ACT New Zealand is extremely concerned by
"If the independence, integrity and impartiality of the judiciary is to be upheld then Chief Justice Elias and the
Attorney General Sir Douglas Graham must satisfy themselves that there is no substance to these claims. If there is
found to be substance to these allegations then the Chief Justice and Attorney General must reveal the depth of their
knowledge and explain why Justice Durie was appointed a High Court Judge.
Questions were being raised about the working relationship of Judge Durie and Donna Hall as far back as 1992. Those
questions lead to a confidential inquiry conducted by Retired High Court Judge, Sir Peter Quilliam.
"I am asking the Doug Graham to make public the terms of reference and findings of the Inquiry into this relationship.
"It is my understanding that Judge Durie offered his resignation to the Attorney General at the time of the Quilliam
Inquiry. I am seeking confirmation or denial from the Attorney General but if my understanding is correct, then the
public should know the basis for that offer of resignation and the reasons by Sir Douglas Graham did not accept it at
"I am also seeking the public disclosure of the various confidential reviews that have been undertaken into the
operation and procedures of the Crown Forestry Rental Trust including the $150,000 review in which it is alleged Judge
Durie participated with Donna Hall even though he was Chairman of the Waitangi Tribunal which recommends the
distribution of rental proceeds from this Trust. Of the $200 plus million accumulated in this Trust some $44 million has
been spent on Waitangi Tribunal claims" said Ken Shirley.