Maori Land Court Judge dies

Judge David Ambler. Photo: Supplied.

Judge David Ambler, a Judge of the Māori Land Court and Presiding Officer in the Waitangi Tribunal, passed away on Saturday night in Whangārei.

He spent the night with his whānau in Whangārei and will be taken to Moko Marae at Waitangi near Te Puke where he will lie before his burial on Wednesday, says Chief Māori Land Court Judge, and Chairperson of the Waitangi Tribunal, Judge Isaac Wilson.

“I will be attending Judge Ambler’s tangihanga along with Māori Land Court judges, Waitangi Tribunal members, Māori Land Court staff and Waitangi Tribunal staff,” says Judge Wilson.

Judge Ambler was appointed to the Court in June 2006 and was one of two resident Judges for the Taitokerau District.  He was also appointed Presiding Officer of the Te Rohe Pōtae Inquiry in 2006.

After being appointed to the bar in 1990 Judge Ambler worked as a Staff Solicitor at Kensington Swan Solicitor’s Auckland. He then moved to Rotorua in 1992 working with East Brewster Solicitors, before becoming a partner in 1997.

During his time as a lawyer Judge Ambler advised and represented clients in relation to a range of Māori land issues and acted for a number of Māori trust boards and incorporations as well as representing claimants before the Waitangi Tribunal in Hauraki, Te Urewera, Wairarapa ki Tararua and the Central North Island.

Judge Ambler was a respected colleague of everyone he worked with at the Court and the Tribunal. Fluent in te reo Māori, Judge Ambler brought to his work his knowledge, commitment and passion for the law, tikanga Māori and Iwi Māori.  

“While we grieve for our brother Judge, Judge Ambler’s death is an intensely personal loss for his whānau and close friends. On behalf of the Māori Land Court and the Waitangi Tribunal I want to publicly extend my deep and sincere sympathies to his wife Tai, his children, moko and his wider whānau at this sad time,” says Judge Wilson.

Kua pōhara tātou katoa i tō rironga e te rangatira. Haere ki a Ruakūmea, ki a Ruatōia, e kukume tonu nei, e tōtō tonu nei i te tangata ki te pō.

Ko te aunga o te moe ki a koe e hoa.


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