Rez is the 2017 Young New Zealander of the Year. 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 Law Clerk at New Zealand’s premier law firm Chapman Tripp, Rez is part of the litigation team. She is passionate about international law, in particular, human rights, and wants to focus her legal career on fighting for justice and equality for underprivileged and marginalised people. Rez founded an initiative called Empower, providing mentoring and support to try to address the underrepresentation of refugees in higher education in New Zealand
Key steps in the journey
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 Youth, Auckland Multicultural Society, the Equal Justice Project, and as a director and founder of the Kurdish Youth Association in New Zealand. She is also the founder of Empower, a mentoring and support initiative to try to address the underrepresentation of refugees in higher education in New Zealand.