Cheryl Gwyn

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Cheryl Gwyn

Cheryl Gwyn is Deputy Solicitor-General (Constitutional), of New Zealand. Before joining the Crown Law Office in December 2003 she was Deputy Secretary for Justice (Public Law). Cheryl Gwyn began her legal practice at Chapman Tripp in Auckland, where she became a litigation partner and was later a partner at Russell McVeagh in Wellington.[1]


Born and educated in Whangarei.

In 1979 she graduated from Auckland University. BA in Pol Studs and English. and LLb Hons.

After graduating from law school, Gwyn spent 6 years working on chain at Whakatu Meat works near Hastings to see a bit of life. Was involved in fighting union to allow women to become butchers. Battle won by 1985. [2]

In the early 2000s Gwyn had a 480 ha farm in Akatio, northern Wairarapa with her partner.

Socialist activism

1981, March 26, in Nicaragua Survival Committee, addressed Hastings "Salvador solidarity week" forum, Labour Party HQ, organized by NSC. [3]

1982, Feb 19, Whakatu worker, wrote report for Socialist Action (p5) on Oringi dispute.

1982, May 21, "Cheryl" (ph 66879) listed as Hastings contact for Young Socialists hui, Wellington, June 5-7. [4]

1982, Oct.. 1,Young Socialists, addressed Hastings demo for Aborigine land rights, after demo, she went to Rebel meeting rooms. [5]

1982, Dec. 10, Gwyn names Nadia Makea & Linda Harris as Socialist Action League members in Socialist Action, both workers at Growers Canneries Ltd, Hastings. Had their houses searched by cops for drugs-found nothing.

1983, Jan 21, wrote article for Socialist Action on Islington dispute (p4).

1984, Apr 6, wrote article in Socialist Action, is slaughterboard labourer at Whakatu-has applied for the learner chain.

1984, Jun 3 , Whakatu worker, addressed Young Socialists hui, Palmerston North, Camp Rangi Woods.[6]

Race Relations Office

Circa 1984/86. After freezing works Gwyn spent 2 years as investigator Auckland Race Relations Office.

Legal career

Late 80s/Early 90s? Partner in Chapman Tripp, 10 years with CT, half as partner.

1996 moved to Wellington to Russell McVeagh, lot of employment and Human rights law.

1996, working in Russell McVeagh McKenzie Bartleet & Cos (a partner) employment practice, specialising in employment law. [7]

Feb. 2001 - becoming Deputy Secretary of Justice(Public Law) to replace Dr Mathew Palmer, will be providing sector leadership and advice in areas of Treaty Relationships, Constitutional Law, Human Rights/Bill of Rights, Access to Justice, Electoral, Family, Commercial and Property Law.

Her extensive experience and knowledge will be vital to the continued provision of high quality policy advice and development of Public Law in NZ. [8]

Circa 2003 - To reiterate that New Zealand continues to actively support the negotiations on determining the rights of indigenous people internationally and is very much aware that many indigenous people have little or no protection in exercising their rights. To demonstrate, through a text that we can support, how New Zealand is actively addressing these issues within our own constitutional structures.

An interdepartmental team from Te Puni Kökiri, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has worked closely and intensively to draft this working text. In addition to Jonathan and me, members of the team here today are Cheryl Gwyn, the Deputy Secretary of Justice; Margaret Dugdale, Manager, Bill of Rights/Human Rights Team, Ministry of Justice and Dr John Tamahori, Chief Analyst, Te Puni Kökiri.

We have consulted with Crown Law, the Office of Treaty Settlements and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. They are represented here too.

We have worked on this project for several months. What you have in front of you today is a working text, developed by officials. Ministers have not yet signed off on the working text but have asked us to outline the proposed changes to you and listen to your ideas and perspectives.

2003 - the Solicitor-General announced the appointment of Cheryl Gwyn, Deputy Secretary of Justice in charge of Public Law as the new Deputy Solicitor-General (Constitutional) in succession to Helen Aikman, who is going to the Bar.

2006 Acting Chief Executive and Solicitor-General Crown Law Office.


  1. CLANZ In House lawyers
  2. Press 23.10.96
  3. [SA 3 Apr 81]
  4. in SA (p1).
  5. [SA 8 Oct 82].
  6. [SA 18 May 84 p2]
  7. Press 23.10.96
  8. Dom 7.2.01 p28