Melanie Baker LLB
Principal, Lawyer and Mediator
Melanie has been practising law in Lower Hutt since 1988. During this time, she has had a wide ranging involvement in the local community, including as a Board of Trustees member and chairperson at Petone Central School and as a Director of Atiawa Toa FM, the local iwi Radio Station. She has been recently appointed to the Board of KidsCan.
Melanie practises in the areas of Family, Criminal and Property Law. She is a Senior Lawyer for Child and Youth Advocate and accepts appointments as a Lawyer to Assist the Court in various matters. During her time in practice, she has conducted many hundreds of hearings in Courts at all levels, including jury trials. She is a passionate solution focused advocate who strives to obtain excellent outcomes for clients.
Melanie was an elected member of the Council of the Wellington Branch of the New Zealand Law Society for 7 years and was a member of the Standards (Complaints) Committee for 9 years. In addition, Melanie is a member of a Legal Aid Selection Committee, a former board member of the Wellington Community Law Centre, and is a Legal Aid auditor contracted to the Ministry of Justice.
Melanie has attended overseas conferences to ensure her practice is currently up to international standard. She co-presented a workshop at the 2017 Association of Family and Conciliation Courts Conference in Boston. She presented a paper at the Youth Advocates Conference in Auckland in August 2018.
Melanie is an accredited specialist family mediator and is a Family Disputes Resolution provider contracted to Fairway Resolution Limited.
Melanie is a parent and enjoys watching her son play Rugby, keeping active and spending time with friends. She enjoys working with people of all cultures and backgrounds. She is Te Atiawa, Ngati Mutunga and Ngati Tama iwi on her father's side and has Irish background on her mother's side. Recently she has been appointed chair person of the Risk and Audit Committee for Te Runanganui o Te Ati Awa ki Te Upoko o Te ika a Maui whanui based at Waiwhetu Marae.