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Reina Vaai

Leaders Asia-Pacific 2022


Lawyer, Royal Commission of Inquiry


Aotearoa New Zealand



Reina Vaai is a lawyer at the Royal Commission of Inquiry where she represents survivors of abuse and torture as children while in state care, a first-of-its-kind inquiry that aims to transform the way that New Zealand’s legal systems and agencies treat survivors and seek justice. She also founded and runs the nonprofit Champions for Change, where she brings positive role models from different careers to visit schools and connect with students from marginalized communities. Reina loves storytelling and finding ways to elevate unheard voices. She is a children’s book author and a freelance journalist, and recently worked on a documentary about women and climate change with the BBC. She believes that everyone is entitled to and deserves access to justice.