Katherine Sanders

BA, LLB (Hons), LLM (Yale)

Profile Image
Senior Lecturer
Doctoral Candidate - Doctor of Philosophy


Katherine Sanders joined the Faculty from practice in London where she acted for the Crown in public law litigation. Previously, Katherine was clerk to the Rt Hon Justice Blanchard at the Supreme Court of New Zealand. She is a graduate of the University of Auckland and the Yale Law School.

Research | Current

Katherine’s research is in New Zealand legal history and land law.  She examines the intersection of those fields with issues of legal theory and constitutional law particularly whilst maintaining an interest in theoretically informed doctrinal analysis of property law.

Katherine is working on a biography of FOV Acheson, a Judge of the Native Land Court from 1919–1943. This research examines Judge Acheson's life and work and its relationship with the legal, political, intellectual and cultural worlds of his time. The project also explores the possibilities and constraints of the role of a Native Land Court judge during this period.


Teaching | Current

  • Law 301 Land Law
  • Law 423 Legal History
  • Law 716 Legal History (Honours seminar)
  • Law 713 Ideas of Land

Postgraduate supervision

Recently completed supervision

  • The emergence of community land trusts in Australasia: an alternative model of land tenure for social and ecological sustainability (LLM)
  • Wastelands "which might doubtless be easily drained": a contextual study of the "wastelands" doctrine in the drainage of the Hauraki Plains (LLB Hons)
  • Time for a real change – Revisiting the Position of Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 within Aotearoa’s Legal System (LLB Hons)
  • A River a Legal Person: Serving tikanga Maori or not?(LLB Hons)


Richard Macrory Prize for the most thought-provoking and innovative article in the Journal of Environmental Law, 2018

(awarded for " 'Beyond Human Ownership'? Property, Power and Legal Personality for Nature in Aotearoa New Zealand" (2018) 30 JEL 207)

Fulbright Graduate Student Award, 2006

New Zealand Law Foundation Ethel Benjamin Award, 2006


Co-editor, New Zealand Law Review

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Sanders, K. (2018). Juridical Encounters: Maori and the Colonial Courts 1840-1852. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF LEGAL HISTORY, 58 (3), 418-420. 10.1093/ajlh/njy012
  • Sanders, K. (2018). ‘Beyond human ownership’? Property, power and legal personality for nature in Aotearoa New Zealand. Journal of Environmental Law, 30 (1), 207-234. 10.1093/jel/eqx029
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/42346
  • Sanders, K. (2016). Land law. New Zealand Law Review, 2016 (4), 789-827.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/38993
  • Sanders, K. A. (2015). Land Law. In A. Stockley, M. Littlewood (Eds.) The New Zealand Supreme Court: The First Ten Years. LexisNexis.
  • Sanders, K. A. (2014). ‘The Sensational Scandal which has Worried Wellington’: The Kelburn Raid, Sex, and the Law in First World War New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of History, 48 (2), 91-118. Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/25612

Contact details

Office hours

Monday 9:30-10:30am (teaching weeks only) or by appointment


Primary office location

1-11 SHORT STREET - Bldg 810
Level 5, Room 517
New Zealand