Kahungunu Barron-Afeaki S.C.

Mr Barron-Afeaki S.C. brings extensive experience and skills to very difficult, complex and often high profile cases. He has appeared at all levels of Court being District Court, High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Courts in NZ and Tonga. He also has extensive international experience in a range of commercial activities ranging from sports & sponsorship contracts, airlines, hotel development, energy sector regulation, business ventures, investigations, business feasibility assessments and Royal Commissions of Inquiries into Lands, Arson and the Sinking of a Ferry.

Criminal Defence Counsel – 29 years extensive Court experience & 500+ cases completed, as defence counsel in criminal law in NZ. 21 years legal experience in Tonga, South Pacific. Numerous high profile and leading cases in both jurisdictions for terrorism, serious fraud, murder, robbery, theft, arson, assault, rape, serious traffic…

Sport Contracts & Sponsorship – 20+ years international experience in sport law – 170+ international player, coach, management sports & sponsorship contracts in rugby union, rugby league, kickboxing and other sports in NZ, Australia, Fiji, UK, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, Tonga, Samoa. Experience in Actor and TV Presenter contracts.

Civil/Constitutional & Land Law – 21 years experience in civil, commercial, constitutional and land law in the Kingdom of Tonga. Profile and leading cases in defamation, democratic / electoral rights issues injunctions, judicial review, development agreements, financing, Laws of the Sea and other areas.

Resort & Hotel Development – 10 years experience in the Kingdom of Tonga – Counsel for the Internationally renowned Five Star Hotel Chain – Warwick International Hotels Group (Vava’u), Lomipeau Resort Development (Tongatapu), Puatakanave Hotel (Vava’u), Mala Island Resort (Vava’u).

Commissions – International experience as a Royal Commissioner on the Royal Land Commission, Kingdom of Tonga – 100+ Royal Commission of Inquiry public hearings & inquiries conducted in Singapore, Samoa, New Zealand (Auckland, Wellington), Australia (Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane), USA (LA, San Fransisco, San Diego, Salt Lake City, Hawaii) and the Kingdom of Tonga. (Tongatapu, Eua, Haapai Islands – Lifuka, Uiha, Foa, Haano, Nomuka, haafeva, Vavau Islands – Hunga, Niuatoputapu, Niuafoou) – extensive Royal Land Commission Report published 2010.

Commissioner for the Electricity Commission (Tonga), experience and expertise in regulatory functions of the energy sector – New Zealand (Auckland, Wellington), Singapore, Vietnam (Hanoi) and the Kingdom of Tonga.

Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Burning (Arson) at Uoleva Palace, the Kingdom of Tonga – Special Legal Advisor.

Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Sinking of the MV Princess Ashika Ferry, Kingdom of Tonga – approved Legal Counsel for the former Minister of Transport.

  • Guest Speaker (Elite Polynesian Athletes) International Sports Conference, Rotorua, NZ 2006

  • Kaitaia Car Driver Murder case, High Court, NZ 2013 – 2014

  • QC Cleared of Perjury Charge, Supreme Court, Tonga 2011

  • PhD Candidate Research on the Disproportionate Success of Polynesians in Sport, University of Auckland, NZ 2003-2005

  • Maori Terrorist/Tuhoe trial (NZ’s first terrorist case), High Court, NZ 2007-2011


1984 – 1987
Bachelor of Laws LL.B – University of Auckland

1999 – 2000
Bachelor of Arts, BA (1st Class Honours) – University of Auckland
School of Education – Major Education & Sport “Polynesians in Professional Sport”

2003 – 2005
PhD Programme Candidate
– University of Auckland – School of Education – Completion Currently on Hold
Doctoral Thesis topic – “Success of Polynesians in Professional Sport worldwide”