Sometimes It Just Takes An Establishment Middle Aged White Male .......
It was a chance encounter, while working at a bar in Auckland, that changed Allan’s path in life. Before that “university was not really on my radar”.Allan describes two men who would come into the bar, Grand Central on Ponsonby Rd in Auckland, where she was working in the early 2000s.”And this guy would come into the bar once a month, and have these very flamboyant discussions.“Sometimes he'd bring in his friends that had studied at these very fancy universities like Harvard and Stanford. When you work in a bar, everyone's got a bit of a yarn, but you take it all with a bit of a grain of salt.“Anyway, this guy, he then started sending books to my bar from his work and enrolment packs to study law at Otago University.’’He turned out to be Mark Henaghan, a law professor at Auckland University and former dean of the law faculty at Otago University.‘’And he had been bringing in Andrew Geddis into my bar, who had just finished his Harvard training at that time.”Henaghan encouraged her to take law, which she did, at Victoria University of Wellington.
Kiri Allan's path from being a cocktail waitress to lawyer is very similar to the story of this woman, who apparently is head of the Law Society, Tiana Epati. I recall reading it and looked it up again.
An "ordinary" student, Tiana Epati hadn't spent her university holidays working at prestigious law firms, progressively etching her name on a graduate desk. Instead, she was waiting tables at Auckland's O'Connell St Bistro, trying to pay rent while she qualified as a criminal barrister.
It was lunch time and a posse of demanding lawyers arrived, all in a rush. As Epati remembers it, the guy who paid told the owner he was impressed with the waitress's people management. The owner mentioned she was a lawyer. The guy left a number and his name - Simon Moore.
The name didn't mean much to Epati so she did nothing for several days. Then she mentioned it to her dad, defence lawyer Semi Epati. "Ring him," he exclaimed. "He's the crown solicitor."
See, sometimes when middle aged white male lawyers pick up women in bars it is not always something requiring a referral to Camp Mother Alison Mau.