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Te Matakahi

Defence Lawyers Association NZ

Providing advocacy, support, and specialised education and training for defence lawyers.

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice” – Martin Luther King

Ahakoa he iti te matakahi, ka pākaru i a ia te tōtara.

The wedge may be small, but it will split the tōtara.

Who we are

Te Matakahi was formed by co-founders Christopher Stevenson and Elizabeth Hall to give a voice to the challenging work done by our members at the heart of the criminal justice system.

We lead in identifying and encouraging reform to protect liberties and rights, and remedy flaws and inequities in the criminal justice system.

We are committed to ensuring the criminal defence bar represents all those accused of crime.

Our Core Work


We are committed to keeping members informed about developments in criminal law and to ensure that defence lawyers share knowledge and experience.


Criminal defence work is tough. Te Matakahi provides members with support and inspiration.


Te Matakahi advocates for reform where it is needed to improve the criminal justice system.


Te Matakahi is committed to a strong unified criminal defence bar. Our focus is advocacy by our members and for our members.

Greg King Scholarship

The Greg King Scholarship is awarded every two years to a promising lawyer to junior on a criminal trial with a senior defence lawyer.