Judge celebrated as Māngere success story

Publish Date : 12 Oct 2023
Ali’imuamua Sandra Alofivae.

Appointed a District Court judge this month, Ali’imuamua Sandra Alofivae has been celebrated as an outstanding achiever from the Māngere Pasifika community.

Acting Māngere-Ōtāhuhu Local Board chair Harry Fatu Toeafoa says her appointment to preside at the Manukau District Court is testament to her commitment to justice and her impact on the legal profession.

In formally recognising her appointment, the board wanted to highlight that the judge’s roots were deeply embedded in her culturally diverse community.

“Her upbringing has played an integral role in shaping her into the stalwart advocate she is,” he says.

Ali’imuamua Sandra Alofivae's legal journey began in 1994 when she co-founded King Alofivae Malosi, specialising in child protection.

In 2005, she became a barrister sole, and after being appointed Families Commissioner, she influenced the 2014 Vulnerable Children’s Act.

“She has also served on the Counties Manukau District Health Board, where she has long championed community betterment,” Toleafoa says.

“Too often we read about members of our community being involved in undesirable behaviours, but we sometimes fail to celebrate our own successes.

“Here is a woman with deep community roots, grounded in tradition and her culture, who has done everything within her power to improve the lives of others. Her family and her community have every right to be proud of her.”

Alofivae was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2016 Queen's Birthday Honours for her services to the Pacific community and youth.

In 2018 she won the Sir Peter Blake Leader Award and was appointed to a Royal Commission of Inquiry into abuse and neglect in state care and faith-based institutions.

“Her personal experiences have fuelled her determination against racism and injustice,” Toleafoa says.

“She has achieved all she has while balancing motherhood with her professional life, all the time embodying family and community values. In Samoan we say, ‘O le ala i le pule o le tautau’ – which means ‘the path to leadership is service’.”
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