Ron Crosby was born in 1949 and spent the first 30 years of his working life as a court lawyer, initially in partnership for a few years in Auckland, and from 1975 in Blenheim where he still lives. He was admitted to the Bar in 1971 and gained an LLB Hons at Auckland University. He married Margy, who is of Te Rarawa/Te Aupouri descent, in 1971 and they have three adult children. In 2002 Ron formally retired as a partner of the law firm Gascoigne Wicks, but continued as a consultant to that firm predominantly in resource management and iwi fields for another six years finally retiring at the end of December 2007 to concentrate on writing.

His personal interests include a wide range of sports, and his interest in exploring on foot the bush and back country areas of New Zealand has led to an interest in writing on New Zealand history.


In 1999 he wrote The Musket Wars –A History of Inter-Iwi Conflict 1806-1845, in 2004 Gilbert Mair – Te Kooti’s Nemesis, in 2006 Andris Apse – Odyssey and Images, in 2008 Albaneta – Lost Opportunity at Casino (all Reed publications); in 2009 NZSAS: The First Fifty Years (Penguin), in 2012 A Desperate Dawn - The Battle for Turuturu Mokai 1868 Tawhi Museum and in 2015 Kupapa - The bitter legacy of Maori alliances with the crown (Penguin Random House).


He has also contributed a chapter on the resource management experiences of the Te Tau Ihu iwi for the book Whenua – Managing our Resources (ed. M. Kawharu, Reeds 2002) a chapter on Gilbert Mair for the book Maori Treasures of New Zealand – Ko Tawa (ed. P.Tapsell, David Bateman, 2006) and a chapter on the iwi of the Te Tau Ihu o the Waka a Maui for the book Marlborough - Celebrating 150 Years (Marlborough District Council, 2011.)


Legal Experience


Ron has appeared in most courts in New Zealand and has also appeared on two occasions in the Privy Council.

In the resource management field was particularly involved as Counsel in cases relating to developments in the top of the South Island involving the establishment of the viticulture and winemaking industries in Marlborough, the aquaculture industry in Marlborough and then in Canterbury, the forestry industry, port developments at Picton, Havelock and Clifford Bay, hydro electric proposals, the tourist industry in the Marlborough Sounds, Marahau and St Arnaud, and major subdivision and building developments in the Marlborough and Tasman areas. Many recent cases related to competing claims on water resources in Marlborough, Nelson and Canterbury.

In the Treaty area he has been involved in the long-running Waitangi Tribunal Te Tau Ihu Inquiry, the lengthy and complex litigation associated with that Inquiry, and a range of cases involving Maori interests in resource management cases.

He has also sat and continues to sit as a Hearings Commissioner for a number of local authorities under the Resource Management Act considering a wide range of applications as to coastal and land based issues, water resource and subdivision issues, and particularly cases involving iwi issues. 

In 2009 he chaired three Commissioners hearing submissions on proposed changes and variations to the Canterbury Regional Policy Statement over the future growth patterns of Greater Christchurch.


In 2011 Ron was appointed a member of the Waitangi Tribunal and has sat on a number of national Inquiries through 2012.


Contact the Author

Ron is available as a public speaker, columnist and contributor to other publications. To discuss these and other opportunities, please contact us.

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