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Here is our current whanau:

Jennifer Braithwaite | General Manager

Jennifer joined YouthLaw as the General Manager in September 2018 after serving on YouthLaw’s Board for several years.  She is a passionate advocate for children and young people and has worked in child protection, Māori legal issues, refugee law and general litigation.  As well as working at YouthLaw, Jennifer is doing a Masters in Social and Community Leadership as well as sitting on the management committee of Child Poverty Action Group and the steering group of Action for Children and Youth Aotearoa.  When she isn’t lawyering or studying she loves to spend time making art and listening to others making great music.

Karen Davis | Operations Manager

Karen has been working in the community sector for quite a while, with groups working for social justice, unemployed and beneficiaries, and community education. She enjoys helping groups run well and making sure the bills are paid, but only if it’s a not for profit. Karen was born in Yorkshire and has lived in New Zealand since she was 12. She loves travel and is always trying to learn new languages – the latest is Latin.

Manawa Pomare | Solicitor/Educator

After graduating from Waikato University, Manawa joined YouthLaw as a graduate solicitor in 2010. Manawa enjoys the variety of cases that she is able to work with at YouthLaw and has cultivated particular interests in family and criminal law. When she is not at work, Manawa enjoys travelling, cooking or just watching a movie or two. If Manawa was a shoe, she would be a sneaker, so she could travel the world in comfort.

Velda Chan | Solicitor

Velda immigrated to NZ from Hong Kong at a young age and can never answer the question of whether she likes NZ or HK more because they’re so different yet both such fantastic gems in their own way. Prior to working at YouthLaw, Velda volunteered here whilst attending University, and loved how you know that you’re assisting a physical person rather than just a name on a piece of paper. Velda is the fix-it person in the office who attempts to fix everything from the photocopier to plants. She has an addiction to Korean entertainment and frequents the noraebang (Korean karaoke) to sing the latest Korean pop.

Sarah Guy | Legal Educator

Having worked in the community sector for 14 years, Sarah has an extensive knowledge and experience in the education field.  She is passionate about sharing knowledge and empowering the youth she works with to fulfil their individual potential.  With a friendly approach, Sarah is keen to make Youth law and their rights known and accessible across the board.  Sarah’s love for art and laughter filters through every aspect of her life, always equipped with a bad joke or two.

Kenton Starr | Solicitor

Kenton was keen to work in community law and joined us at the beginning of 2015. He has been involved with youth work for a number of years and enjoys the opportunity to work with and help young people, as well as the wide range of legal problems YouthLaw deals with. When he’s not helping with an individual problem, he also enjoys thinking about some of the big picture legal issues going on in the background. Kenton has particular interests in criminal and international law. A recent highlight for Kenton was spending some time traveling in South Asia last year, where he interned in India with an organisation working against modern day slavery. He is a big fan of getting outdoors to explore and is known for always having a stash of chocolate close to his desk to share.

John Kyle | Law Clerk

John joined YouthLaw as a voluntary legal assistant in 2017 after hearing about the amazing work that the organisation does through some friends. He loved the experience and have since joined YouthLaw as a Law Clerk. He also loves the academic side of law and is currently doing a Bachelor of Laws (Hons). He’s passionate about music, and when he’s not doing anything law related, you’d usually find him playing the bass guitar or the drums.

Emma Barnes | Law Clerk

Hiruni Wijewardhana | Administration Assistant

Hiruni joined YouthLaw as a volunteer legal assistant in 2017 because of her interest in working in the non-profit legal sector. She took up the Administration Assistant role in late 2017 where she assists with collating data for reporting and helps with organising the volunteer intakes. However, she continues to volunteer as well, because of her passion for helping young people and the community. Hiruni is of Sri Lankan origin and moved to New Zealand at the age of 8. Hiruni is currently completing her Law Degree at the University of Auckland but also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce. She enjoys travelling, gardening and interior decorating.

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