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Richard Pidgeon

Richard was admitted in 1998 as a barrister and solicitor. From a family of 8, 5 of whom have practised as lawyers, (2 of whom still do), he is a product of the North Shore, born and bred.

Richard went to the independent bar in November 2013.

Richard’s chief passion in the law is administrative law and he enjoys undertaking both trial work and in the  judicial review  jurisdiction.

He has finished and submitted his doctoral thesis AUT University. The thesis is “Using contract law to resolve Church property disputes in New Zealand”.

Richard has completed a re-issue of “Religion and Religious Institutions” (Laws of New Zealand, LexisNexis NZ Ltd) which works in well with his thesis and regular articles in the Charities edition of the NZLJ (where he focuses on religious issues and sometimes sporting or more general charitable matters). He has been contracted to write the new Thomson Reuters text "Associations Law in New Zealand" (due for completion in 2021).

Richard is a keen footballer, now mainly watching rugby, rugby league and live Aussie Rules (having played rover/pocket for the New Zealand “Falcons”) and enjoys fishing, snorkelling and watching his sons play (and preparing them for)  basketball, rugby, tennis and cricket.


Bachelor of Laws (1998 - University of Auckland); Masters of Commercial Law (Hons) (2005 - University of Auckland); PhD (Law) candidate (2021 - AUT University)

Main cases

Richard's main cases span those reported and unreported and range from refugee matters, the "right to life"  (s 8 NZbORA), church disputes, incorporated societies/ contempt, use of the High Court's inherent jurisdiction, and the fair use of admissions of judgment.
  • Matamu v Si'itia [2017] NZCA 482, [2018] NZAR 348[2018] NZAR 348 (CA)
  • AR (India) v Attorney-General [2021] NZCA 291
  • Re: ER (Iran) [2020] NZIPT 801728 
  • Barfoot & Ors v O’Meara & Ors [2019] NZHC 3470
  • Shafik v Makary [2015] NZAR 1596
  • EW (Sri Lanka) v Refugee and Protection Officer [2019] NZHC 741
  • DX (Iran) [2017] NZAR 388 [2016] NZIPT 800934
  • P (SC 87/2012) v Bridgecorp Ltd (in rec and in liq) [2013] NZSC 152, [2014] 1 NZLR 195
  • WK v Refugee and Protection Officer [2018] NZCA 258 , [2019] 2 NZLR 223, [2018] NZAR 1146 


Laws of New Zealand Religion and Religious Institutions (author – 2016 onwards).

Professional Memberships

  • NZ Bar Association
  • NZ Law Society
  • NZLS Family Law Section

Journal articles

  • Co-author with Danyon Chong of "Testing Damascene change in refugee law" [2016] NZLJ 89
  • Author of Laws of New Zealand "Religion and Religious Institutions" (LexisNexis) 
  • Resolving Religious Disputes in New Zealand Part II [2015] NZLJ 86
  • Resolving Religious Disputes In New Zealand Part I [2015] NZLJ 33
  • Religious Caselaw Update [2014] NZLJ 89
  • The Non-Justiciability Principle in Religious Disputes “At the Bar” (NZ Bar Assoc Journal) Dec 2013
  • "Church" property and rates [2012] NZLJ 59
  • Religious education of children [2010] NZLJ 59
  • Amateur sport and the Charities Act [2009] NZLJ 65
  • Charitable entities other than trusts [2008] NZLJ 105
  • Charities Bill: church administration [2005] NZLJ 57
  • Civil incorporation of church property [2004] NZLJ 69
  • Religious Charitable Trusts [2003] NZLJ 73