Alison Anitawaru Cole


Alison joined Govett Quilliam in February 2022 as a lawyer in our Resource Management, Litigation and Te Tira Hau Ture Teams. She is part-time whilst completing her PhD and works in our Ngā Motu / New Plymouth office, and our new office in Stratford.


Alison received her BA in Law with first class honours from Cambridge University and received the Henigson Human Rights Fellowship from Harvard Law School for her LLM masters in law. She began her career in war crimes investigations with the United Nations International Tribunals, covering cases in Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, Cambodia, and various countries throughout the Middle East and the African continent. Alison moved back to Aotearoa New Zealand to work as a Special Advisor on human rights for a commission of inquiry with the Department of Internal Affairs in 2017.

Throughout her career, Alison has worked on matters concerning land law and environmental protection. She has assisted in legal matters related to coastal management including the foreshore and seabed, and previously taught maritime law at Hong Kong University. Alison also has experience in freshwater management, working with her hapū on water monitoring and local government engagement plans. Alison is particularly passionate about climate law and recently travelled to the Paris Agreement negotiations in Glasgow for COP26.

Outside of Govett Quilliam

Alison is uri of Ngāruahine (Ngāti Tū), Ngāti Ruanui (Ngāti Tupaea), and Taranaki Whānui. She is passionate about te reo Māori and advancing tikanga-based partnerships. Alison loves everything on the ocean. She is an avid surfer, scuba diver, and kayaker along her with her dog Kurī, and one day hopes to complete a Pacific Ocean crossing use Te Kapehu Whetū.

Contact Alison