Semi Epati

A’e’au Semikueiva Epati

Brought up in Falealupo, Savai’i, Samoa

First Samoan and Pacific Island Judge in New Zealand who presided over Jury trials, Criminal and Civil jurisdiction. 

Epati was educated in Samoa but eventually came to New Zealand and graduated from Otago University with a BA (major in Philosophy) LLB.

After graduating from Otago University, Epati returned to Samoa where he worked at the Attorney-General’s office and then in private practice.

Judge Epati began practicing law in New Zealand in 1989 where he worked in an law firm before practicing on his own in 1990.

He was admitted to the bar in not only in New Zealand but also Western Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Niue, Vanuatu, Kiribati and Hawaii, and has served as Attorney General of Niue and Temporary Magistrate in Western Samoa.

Judge Epati was sworn in as a District Court Judge on 22 February 2002, becoming the first judge to be appointed of Samoan and Pacific ethnicity.

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