Jacquie Grant MNZM is soon to finish up her eight-year term on the Human Rights Review Tribunal.
Grant made history as the first trans person in New Zealand, and perhaps the commonwealth, to sit on this type of juridical body a term which was initially for five years and extended twice.
She also had the honour of becoming the first trans person in the world to receive an order of merit when in 1997 she was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
“It makes me proud to be able to show that trans people can achieve and do and be what ever they want. As part of the Tribunal I was sworn in as an officer of the High court several times and am the first and only trans to actually sit on the High court Bench in a Judicial capacity,” says Grant
Deliberating on landmark cases such as the Crown v Atkinson case, Grant had the privilege of sitting in both the Wellington and Auckland High Courts as a Tribunal member alongside various High Court Judges.
“While it will be sad to leave I am proud of my time there and the contribution I have been able to make, I am also proud to live in a country where the fact I am a Transsexual made no difference to me being appointed.”
This very busy woman isn’t about to slow down yet; looking to expand her Sock Machine export business she is in the process of selling her motels and building a small woolen mill. The mill will be combined with her yarn store and sock machine museum that she is relocating to a new large premise in a few weeks time.
Grant says she has just completed writing a 10 year business plan for herself and says maybe when its complete will she consider slowing down.
Her move from the Tribunal gives her a chance to spend some quality time with her grandchildren, one of the many joys that have come from her years as a foster parent.
| Sarah Murphy