Rez Gardi

Rez was born in a United Nations refugee camp in Pakistan as her family escaped their homeland due to the persecution of Kurds. After years of struggle, Rez and her family were fortunately given the opportunity to settle to New Zealand to create a new life. 

Now a lawyer for New Zealand law firm Chapman Trip, Rez is hopes to focus her legal career on fighting for justice and equality for underprivileged and marginalised people. She has already started working on this through her role as the New Zealand Red Cross’ youth advisor as part of their Humanitarian Services national team. She was selected to represent New Zealand at the Global Refugee Youth Consultations and annual UNHCR – NGO in June 2016 in Geneva.

In 2017, Rez was awarded Young New Zealander of the Year. 

Key steps in the journey

Rez and her family suffered tremendous difficulties to reach where they are today, having come to New Zealand with absolutely nothing. Despite this, Rez never used their misfortune as a reason to underachieve, and in fact used it as motivation to excel beyond expectations. This drive has been evident from her childhood in that although English was her fourth language, she has gone on to become the first in her family to graduate from secondary school and attend university where she studied a double degree in Law and Arts.

Now a Law Clerk at New Zealand law firm Chapman Tripp, Rez is part of the litigation team. She is passionate about international law, in particular, human rights. Rez is a Youth Advisor for the New Zealand Red Cross, has represented NZ at the Global Refugee Youth Consultations and annual UNHCR.  She has a tremendous record of community involvement, with participation in UN YouthAuckland Multicultural Societythe Equal Justice Project, and as a director and founder of the Kurdish Youth Association in New Zealand.


Twitter – Follow Rez Gardi
Vimeo – Watch & share Rez's talk from FFTF16
Website – (in development)