Former Manu prop appointed N.Z. Judge

Former manu Samoa player Mike Mika has been appointed a District Court Judge in New Zealand.

The announcement of Mr Mika as the District Court Judge of Invercargill was made last Tuesday by New Zealand's Attorney General David Parker.

In an interview with the Samoa Observer on Sunday, the newly appointed Judge said he was honoured to be elevated to the bench in New Zealand.

"Rugby and being a judge are two different careers, being a judge is you trying to be fair," the new Judge told this newspaper. 

Mr Mika said taking on the appointment has already introduced him to a new fraternity of peers and he has received many calls and messages so far.  

"They do give you a lot of training before you take your role. You receive a lot of emails and phone calls from judges you know and don't know, we all offer to help in the best way we can, we support each other."

He is expected to take up his new role next month.

The new Judge’s parents are from Lepa, Aleipata and Vailoa and served as church ministers in Papatoetoe, Auckland.

And while he looks forward to taking on the new judicial role, reminiscing his time as a Manu Samoa player brought back a lot of memories, especially the 1995 and 1999 Rugby World Cup campaigns.

"Oh yes, the time when we went for the '95 World Cup [in South Africa], and then the '99 World Cup in Wales [and] France,” he added. “I think the quarter finals in '95 and our game with South Africa that was the highlight of my time. 

“And '99 when the Manu beat Wales in [Millennium] Stadium, it was probably the best game and the best times with the boys.”

Mr Mika’s professional rugby portfolio includes stints with the Highlanders, the Southland Stags and Manu Samoa as a prop.

Prior to his appointment to the bench, Mr Mika as a lawyer was the Deputy President of the Invercargill Licensing Trust and I.L.T. Foundation; a council member of the Southland Branch of the New Zealand Law Society; and a Trustee of Miharo, a Southland Trust that aims to support Maori and Pasifika people and culture.

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