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Speaker biographies

US speakers:

asha bandeleasha bandele | author & organiser (USA)

asha is the founding director of Just Media, a new platform serving the broader criminal justice reform movement in the US. An award-winning journalist, asha is also a New York Times best-selling author of six works including The Prisoner’s Wife and When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir.

patrisse cullorsPatrisse Cullors | artist, organiser & freedom fighter (USA)

Patrisse is a co-founder of Black Lives Matter and founder of Dignity and Power Now from Los Angeles. She is a performance artist, popular public speaker, and a New York Times bestselling co-author of When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir. Among her many awards for activism and movement building, Patrisse was named by the Los Angeles Times as a Civil Rights Leader for the 21st Century.

deborah smallDeborah Small | Executive Director, Break the Chains (USA)

Deborah leads Break the Chains, an organisation working to empower those communities most impacted by punitive drug policies to advocate for an end to the failed "war on drugs". She previously held a senior position with the Drug Policy Alliance and was a practicing lawyer.

NZ speakers:

Helen ClarkRt Hon Helen Clark | Former NZ Prime minister, Commissioner for Global Commission on Drug Policy

Helen Clark is a former New Zealand Prime Minister and a Former UNDP Administrator. She currently Chairs the Boards of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health. Helen also serves on other public good Advisory Boards.

Helen is a frequent contributor to Conferences, and events, on issues related to Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Women’s Leadership.

Andrew LittleHon Andrew Little | Justice Minister

Andrew Little has a background in law and is a former trade union official. He was national secretary of New Zealand's largest trade union, the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU), and he was President of the Labour Party from 2009 to 2011. He entered Parliament in 2011 as a list MP. Little served as the Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party from 2014 until 2017, when he resigned to make way for Jacinda Ardern.

With the formation of a Labour-led coalition government in October 2017, Little was appointed as Minister of Justice, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, and Minister in charge of the Government Communications Security Bureau and New Zealand Security Intelligence Service. He is also responsible for overseeing the 2020 cannabis referendum, and broader reform of the justice system.

Chester BorrowsHon Chester Borrows | chair of Te Uepū Hāpai i te Ora - the Safe and Effective Justice Advisory Group

Chester Borrows has held positions that have given him a unique insight and considerable experience of the justice sector. As a police officer, prosecutor, and defence counsel, Chester frequently defended those he had previously prosecuted.

He is also a former politician and member of Parliament from 2005 to 2017, and held a wide range of ministerial portfolios – most notably as Minister for Courts, Associate Minister of Justice, and Associate Minister of Social Development. Chester was also responsible for writing the Youth Crime Action Plan, and was Chair of the Cross Parliamentary Human Rights Committee. He has a keen interest in restorative justice and is currently also the Chair for the Restorative Cities Project in Whanganui which is focused on creating an environment for all Whanganui people to thrive and succeed together through respectful relationships.

khylee quinceKhylee Quince | Senior Lecturer and Associate Head of School at AUT School of Law

Khylee Quince is Ngapuhi and Ngati Porou and a Senior Lecturer and Associate Head of School at AUT School of Law, with nearly 20 years’ experience teaching and researching criminal law, youth justice, and Māori and the criminal justice system.

She is the author of “Youth Justice in New Zealand” and in 2014 was the recipient of a National Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award for Sustained Excellence.

Khylee has extensive governance experience at local and national levels. Outside of her work, Khylee is a mother of three, a sci-fi Star Wars and Doctor Who geek, with a long term addiction to under-performing sports teams, particularly the Warriors and Liverpool Football Club. 

Moana JacksonMoana Jackson | Māori lawyer and researcher

Moana is a New Zealand Māori lawyer specialising in Treaty of Waitangi and constitutional issues. Jackson is of Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāti Porou descent. He is Director of Nga Kaiwhakamarama I Nga Ture (the Māori Legal Service) which he co-founded in 1987.

He has also worked extensively overseas on international indigenous issues, particularly the drafting of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. He was a judge on the International Tribunal of Indigenous Rights in Hawaii in 1993 and again in Canada in 1995. He was also counsel for the Bougainville Interim Government during the Bougainville peace process.

He lectures in the Ahunga Tīkanga / Māori Laws and Philosophy degree programme at Te Wānanga o Raukawa.

Through the Maze: Just and equitable drug law reform. Register now.

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