"She Is Forged From Iron And Blood, Who Cannot Be Broken By A Thought Or A Word": The First Female Supreme Judge Of New Zealand Seerpoohi Elias
Having a big Diaspora, Armenian people are very proud of the successful Armenians around the world and often mention their names in the media, however very few people know the name of the truly influential Armenian woman Seerpoohi Elias.
Seerpoohi Elias is the first woman in the history of New Zealand who became the supreme judge of the country. Assuming the highest position in the juridical branch of the state a person in specific situations acts as the general-governor; practically head of the state (after queen Elizabeth).
The efforts made for the country by Seerpoohi are huge; during her administration she has gained the respect of all the New Zealanders and had the reputation of level-headed and fair judge. In particular she is known as the fighter against rent-seeking behavior and defender of the rights of the natives of New Zealand: Maori tribe: she has implemented big reforms in the juridical system and owing to her efforts the Maori language was recognized as the state language along with English.
"Ms. Sian Elias is like a lightning-rod between the parliament, government and the juridical system" – The New York Times.
Seerpoohi Elias, better known as Sian Elias, was born in an Armenian family. The parents of her father were refugees who found a shelter in Lebanon during the Armenian genocide and then in London, where Seerpoohi was born. The family moved to New Zealand when their daughter was one years old. Seerpoohi has a degree in law and from a young age till now she is actively engaged in social-political life.
It is noteworthy that in one of her interviews Seerpoohi said that she would have hardly reached the heights if it were not for her Armenian roots and it is indeed typical of people that have either personal or family history of struggle in the past: whether it is for survival or social-political difficulties. The granddaughter of survivors of genocide and deprived of their rights in their own territory today has become a symbol of protection for the rights of the disadvantaged – at the other end of the world.