Rez Gardi
Rez Gardi

Rez was born in a refugee camp in Pakistan after her family escaped their homeland owing to the persecution of Kurds and she has now resettled in New Zealand. She is the first in her family to graduate from secondary school and university. She graduated from the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Law (Honours) focussing on International Law and Human Rights; and a Bachelor of Arts double majoring in International Relations and Criminology. She is now New Zealand’s first Kurdish female lawyer. Rez works in corporate litigation at New Zealand’s premier law firm, Chapman Tripp, and has previously worked at the United Nations Office in Nairobi as a human rights intern. She is passionate about supporting young refugees through a mentoring and support programme to try and address the underrepresentation of refugee students in tertiary education as she believes education is pivotal to changing the future for refugees. She represented New Zealand at the Global Refugee Youth Consultations in Geneva, the Asia-Pacific Refugee Rights Conference in Bangkok and was a youth delegate at the High Commissioner’s Dialogue on Protection Challenges in Geneva. She is the youth advisor for the New Zealand Red Cross as part of their national humanitarian team and leads projects for refugee youth throughout New Zealand.