LLB/BA (History/Philosophy) - Auckland - 2000


Tiana is a senior litigation lawyer with expertise in complex regulatory and serious criminal investigations with particular expertise in appeals and reviews. Tiana has appeared as lead counsel in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in well over 100 appeals against interlocutory proceedings, extradition, conviction and sentence. She has also appeared as independent counsel to assist the Court of Appeal, the Coroners Court and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in State Care and Faith-based Institutions. 

A former Crown prosecutor in both Auckland and Wellington, Tiana is a member of the Serious Fraud Office Prosecution Panel and Crown Solicitors Panel. She undertakes regulatory advice and proceedings for Crown entities and private clients including inquiry work and civil work, particularly in the Māori commercial field.

Tiana is an established leader in the legal profession and community. In 2019, Tiana became just the fourth woman to be President of the New Zealand Law Society. That same year, online legal blogsite “LawFuel” named her “Lawyer of the Year” for the fresh voice and leadership she brought to the role. Tiana was the first President of Pasifika descent and one of the youngest people to ever serve in the role. She finished as President in April 2022.  

Presently, Tiana continues her governance work as a member of the independent Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee to the New Zealand Police and Trustee on the Moana Pasifika Community Trust.

Case Highlights

 Whaanga v R [2024] NZCA 29

 Court of Appeal - Lead counsel in successful appeal against sentence.

Gibson-Park v R [2023] NZCA 615

Court of Appeal - Co-lead counsel in appeal against conviction for murder. Trial counsel error found, but no miscarriage.

Demant v R [2023] NZCA 366

Permanent Court of Appeal - Lead counsel for appellant in interlocutory appeal on novel question of jurisdiction of appellate court sentencing jurisdiction.

Maru v R [2023] NZHC 790

High Court - Counsel for the defendant in high profile sentencing for manslaughter and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Hanara v R – [2022] NZCA 608

Permanent Court of Appeal - Lead counsel for the New Zealand Law Society as Intervenor. Review of principles and test for fitness to stand trial.

Ieremia v R [2021] 1 NZLR 168

Supreme Court - Co-lead counsel for the appellant. Argued the successful ground relating to fresh evidence in appeal against conviction.

What Others Say

LawFuel online law blog: "Lawyer of the Year, 2019"


  • Author of "Professional Responsibility in New Zealand" chapter on regulation of the legal profession publication for LexisNexis, February 2024 - present.
  • Māori Law Review; a paper presented at the Te Hunga Roia Māori o Aotearoa Hui-a-Tau 2018, titled "Cultural Context in Sentencing".
  • Author and presenter at the Criminal Law Symposium 2018 in Wellington on a published paper titled "Recent Developments in Sentencing".
  • Co-author and co-presenter of the NZLS CLE Evidence Act Update Booklet and Seminar, in Christchurch, Wellington, Auckland, and a nation-wide webinar.
  • Author and presenter at the Criminal Law Symposium 2016 in Wellington, on a paper titled "Guilty Plea Discounts in Sentencing".
  • Legal editor and editor of "The Prosecution Brief". An electronic quarterly publication provided to all Crown Solicitors' offices in New Zealand.
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  • NZLS
  • NZBA
  • Pacific Lawyers Association