New Zealand district swears in first Pinay Justice of the Peace
A Filipina has been sworn in as a Justice of the Peace or a judicial officer of the lower court in a New Zealand district six years after she immigrated there, reports said.
The New Zealand Catholic report said Dr. Marieta Chan, who has a PhD in educational planning and management, was inducted as South Canterbury’s first Filipino Justice of the Peace by District Court Judge David Saunders.
According to New Zealand's Ministry of Justice, Justices of the Peace or JPs are involved in an ever-increasing multitude of matters including both ministerial (witnessing of documents, taking of declarations, swearing of affidavits or affirming affirmations) and judicial (minor offences and some traffic cases, issue of remands and bail, hearing of undefended cases) duties.
Chan joined her husband Philip to live on a farm in Waimate, South Canturbury, six years ago, the report said. Philip works as a herd manager while she a department production supervisor at the Alliance Group’s Pukeuri Freezing Works.
The report said Chan is active in Filipino gatherings in the North Otago and Waimate districts and in parish affairs in Waimate St. Patrick.
Waimate is one of the two districts in South Canterbury cited by Census data as among the least culturally diverse or whitest districts in New Zealand.
A report by Stuff NZ said Waimate came in at 7th place, with 93 percent, and Timaru came in at 6th, with 94 percent, in the top 10 list of districts with the highest European population in the country.
Waimate Mayor Craig Rowley and Timaru Mayor Damon Odey told Stuff that the dairy industry, of which Filipinos are a major part of in New Zealand, brought in "a whole range of people" to their districts in recent years.
"We've had up to 35, 40 people at our citizenship ceremonies during the last three years," Odey said. "Now there's one at just about every full council meeting."
Another report on Stuff NZ states that a majority of Filipino daily workers are based in Canterbury, Southland, Waikato, and Otago. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News