Leonie - Writer of Section 27 Reports 

Born in Ōtepoti Dunedin, I am a Kiwaussie with Dutch and Scottish ancestry. I was so very lucky to have been raised by parents who taught me to be watchful for injustice and inequity, and when found, to challenge it. This is what drives me.

I have lived in Aotearoa New Zealand, Singapore, Australia, and Bermuda. My working life has included assisting people who have disabilities (particularly those who struggle with mental illness) to get into paid employment, and co-designing and funding health and education projects in Uganda and Nepal. In the last decade I have largely been running rehabilitation programmes, and writing Court reports, for those affected by the justice system.

In 2012 I returned to New Zealand, moving to Tai Tokerau Northland to be with my partner. I fell in love with him, and then accidentally fell in love with the district, too. Many of my favourite humans are disguised as dogs, so in my spare time I co-ordinate a group of volunteers who advocate for dog welfare up north. 

I have completed two certificate programmes with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, and in doing so learned that the ‘history’ I was taught many years ago at school was deeply biased. I am at the beginning of a lifetime journey to better understand the many injustices of colonialism, and how best to amplify the voices of tangata whenua as they seek to break down those injustices. 

I am honoured to now be a part of Shelley Turner’s team. I hope that I can assist people to tell their stories to the Courts, in such a way that their voices are genuinely heard.