Professor Mark Hickford is Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Government, Law and Business.
BA Auck, LLB (Hons) Auck, DPhil Oxon
Professor Mark Hickford joined the Faculty of Law at Victoria University of Wellington in mid-May 2015 as Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Law.
Mark has held a range of senior management and leadership roles in the public and private sectors, including being in the Prime Minister’s Policy Advisory Group in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet since 2010 (based in the Executive Wing of Parliament Buildings).
Prior to that, he spent eight years as a Crown Counsel at the Crown Law Office, specialising in public law, the Treaty of Waitangi, Crown-Māori relations and natural resources law. He has been a senior consultant on part-time secondment to the Law Commission from the Crown Law Office (during which time he worked on the privacy law reform project and assisted the Legislation Design Committee) and was Chief Legal Advisor at the Ministry of Primary Industries on secondment from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet from August 2013 until April 2014.
Admitted to the bar as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand in 1993, he worked as a litigation solicitor at a leading commercial law firm in Auckland early in his career and spent two years with public law specialists Chen Palmer & Partners before joining the Crown Law Office. During his time in legal practice, he has appeared in the ordinary courts and before specialist jurisdictions such as the Environment Court, the Maori Land Court and the Waitangi Tribunal. In addition, he worked on a number of Treaty settlement negotiations while in the service of the Crown.
Mark has an extensive research and publishing record having published on aboriginal title and customary rights as well as issues related to the Treaty of Waitangi and the history of New Zealand’s constitution and laws.
His most recent book—Lords of the Land: Indigenous Property Right and the Jurisprudence of Empire—published through Oxford University Press in the United States in 2012 was a shortlisted finalist for the best legal book of 2011 in New Zealand. He was the 2008 New Zealand Law Foundation International Research Fellow and, while maintaining a heavy legal practice before moving to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, has held visiting positions at Nuffield College, University of Oxford, as well as the Centre for Public Law at Victoria University of Wellington.
Mark has also been a member of the Legislation Advisory Committee.
- Constitutional law and history
- Public law and policy
- Government law and practice (including machinery of government issues)
- Legal history
- Treaty of Waitangi and Crown / state-indigenous relations
- Indigenous rights and law / public policy, including in relation to natural resources
- Legislative design and legal risk management, particularly in relation to the executive branch and public policy and lawyers in government
Constitutional histories, including constitutional legal design and indigenous rights of government / proprietary rights
Selection of publications
- Mark Hickford Lords of the Land: Indigenous Property Rights and the Jurisprudence of Empire (Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York, 2011/2012).
- Mark Hickford "Framing and Reframing the Agōn: Contesting Narratives and Counter-Narratives on Māori Property Rights and Political Constitutionalism, 1840-1861" in Saliha Belmessous (ed) Native Claims: Indigenous Law against Empire, 1500-1920 (Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York, 2012) SSRN.
- Mark Hickford "Law and Politics in the Constitutional Delineation of Indigenous Property Rights in 1840s New Zealand" in Shaunnagh Dorsett and Ian Hunter (eds) Law and Politics in British Colonial Thought: Transpositions of Empire (Palgrave, New York, 2010) 249-268 SSRN.
- Mark Hickford "Strands from the Afterlife of Confiscation: Property rights, constitutional histories and the political incorporation of Māori, 1920s" in Richard Hill and Richard Boast (eds) Raupatu: The Confiscation of Māori Land (Victoria University Press, Wellington, 2009) SSRN.
- Mark Hickford "Considering the Historical-Political Constitution and the Imperial Inheritance in Mid-Nineteenth Century New Zealand: Balance, Diversity and Alternative Constitutions" (2014) 12 New Zealand Journal of Public and International Law 145-185 SSRN.
- Mark Hickford "Looking Back in Anxiety: Reflecting on Colonial New Zealand’s Historical-Political Constitution and Laws' Histories in the Mid-Nineteenth Century" (2014) 48 New Zealand Journal of History 1-29 SSRN.
- Mark Hickford "The Historical, Political Constitution – Some Reflections on Political Constitutionalism in New Zealand’s History and its Possible Normative Qualities" (2013) 4 New Zealand Law Review 585–623 SSRN.
- Mark Hickford "'Decidedly the most interesting savages on the globe': an approach to the intellectual history of Māori property rights, 1837-1853" (2006) 27(1) History of Political Thought 121-167 SSRN.