Katherine Sanders

BA, LLB (Hons), LLM (Yale)

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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

  • Michelle Chen "Choice of Forum in the Post-Settlement Era: The Māori Land Court’s Jurisdiction over Post-Settlement Governance Entities after Moke v Trustees of Ngāti Tarāwhai Iwi Trust" (LLB Hons)
  • Jayden Houghton "An Opportunity for Māori and the Crown to Reconcile with respect to Mātauranga Māori and Taonga" (LLM)
  • Sam Johnston "Community Land Trust in Aotearoa New Zealand: a Regenerative Model of Land Tenure for Community and Sustainability" (LLM) (recipient of the Legal Research Foundation unpublished postgraduate student paper award 2019).
  • Alexander Young "Wastelands "which might doubtless be easily drained": a contextual study of the "wastelands" doctrine in the drainage of the Hauraki Plains" (LLB Hons) 24 New Zealand Journal of Environmental Law (forthcoming)
  • Claire Rossell "Time for a real change – Revisiting the Position of Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 within Aotearoa’s Legal System" (LLB Hons) (2019) Auckland University Law Review 31
  • Taylor Mitchell "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

Faculty Adviser to Students with Disabilities

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • 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
  • 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. (2014). ‘The sensational scandal which has worried Wellington’: The Kelburn Raid, sex, and the law in First World War New Zealand. The New Zealand Journal of History, 48 (2), 91-118.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/25612

Contact details

Office hours

Tuesday 2:30 - 3:30pm (teaching weeks only) or by appointment


Primary office location

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