The Pacific Lawyers Association (PLA) has announced the appointment of a new President.
Arti Chand took over from Co-Presidents, Ataga’i Esera and Joseph Xulue on 28th April 2022.
Arti is from Lautoka in Fiji where she was born and grew up before coming to Wellington to study
law at Victoria University. She is a Senior Tax Specialist with an independent practice in
Wellington. Arti started her career as a lawyer with Inland Revenue (Corporates) and worked
with several accounting firms in tax prior to setting up her own practice in 2015.
Arti recently ended her term as Vice President (Wellington) on the New Zealand Law Society
Board where she served for two years in their Finance, Audit and Risk Committee. She is also a
director on the board of Save the Children New Zealand and Vice-President of the New Zealand
Fiji Business Council.
Ms Chand says that she is excited about taking on this role and to build on the important work by
previous PLA leadership. “I am looking forward to working with the new Executive and our
members so that we can become an even stronger voice within the legal profession especially on
issues such as access to justice. We know that Pacific lawyers carry a heavier burden than other
parts of the legal profession when it comes to legal aid and pro bono, so it is vitally important we
lead discussions on what justice for all looks like” she says.
Outgoing Co-Presidents Ataga’i Esera and Joseph Xulue said “We are pleased to be handing over
the torch to Arti and the new Executive, Arti brings a wealth of governance experience and has
already established herself as a respected leader in our profession. The PLA is an integral part of
the profession for us, as Pacific lawyers, and as an association we continue to go from strength to
strength. This is also the first time the majority of the Executive are based outside of Auckland,
which demonstrates the wide reach and relevance of the PLA for Pacific lawyers throughout
Aotearoa. We wish Arti and the new Executive all the very best for the road ahead”.
The Pacific Lawyers Association was established in 2001. From inception it has focussed on
supporting collegiality, education, and training for Pacific lawyers and law students, while also
actively supporting initiatives creating better access to legal services for our Pacific communities
in Aotearoa. The PLA is also involved in providing the Pacific voice when contributing to law
reform, and wider discussions around what the rule of law means for our Pacific communities. In
recognition of such a vital contribution, the PLA was invited, and became, a member of the New
Zealand Law Society Council in 2021, under the leadership of Law Society President Tiana Epati
and previous PLA President, Tania Sharkey