Chelsea Naepi | Seelye Kupe Leadership Scholar

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Sociology and Bachelor of Laws

In a world system that is proving itself to be difficult to sustain, it is time to embrace different knowledge systems to collectively find a plan moving forward. The voices of Oceania can be a transformative contribution to the international socio-legal stage, bringing unique perspectives and their experiences of the colonial landscape. Division has been key in dismissing the perspectives of alternative epistemic frameworks, but in wake of the climate crisis it is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore.

My passions lay with understanding, critiquing and challenging settler States through the perspectives of racialised bodies. Particularly looking at how these States exercise violence over these communities, my passions are directed towards bringing Oceanic perspectives to this ongoing conversation.

Sponsor: Ralph and Eve Seelye Trust

Mentor: Golriz Ghahraman, MP, an Iranian-Kiwi refugee who made history as the first ever refugee to be sworn in as an MP, having arrived in Aotearoa as a child asylum seeker with her family from Iran. Her studies at Oxford, and her career as a lawyer in New Zealand and overseas, have focused on enforcing human rights and holding governments to account. Her work has included restoring communities after war and human rights atrocities, particularly empowering women engaged in peace and justice initiatives. In New Zealand, she has successfully advocated on human rights issues before the Supreme Court. Before entering parliament, Golriz was active in the NGO community, as reflected by her board and governance roles. She volunteered her skills to advance justice reform, refugee and migrant rights, and for family carers of disabled persons. She was part of the team that worked to prepare New Zealand’s non-governmental report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.  In her first term as MP, Golriz was a member of the Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Defence and Education and Workforce Select Committees.