Ursula Cheer - School of Law - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Dr Elizabeth Macpherson




  • LLB (Hons) Victoria 2003
  • BCA Victoria 2002
  • PhD Melbourne 2016
  • Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand, 2004
  • Australian Lawyer and Officer of the Supreme Court of Victoria, 2007

Contact Details

Room 312 Business and Law
Telephone: +64 3 369 5459 ext 95459

Postal address

School of Law
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
New Zealand


Elizabeth Macpherson joined the Law School as a Lecturer in 2017. Her research and teaching interests are in natural resources, environmental and indigenous law, in Latin American and Australasian contexts, and the law of torts, public law, property law and legal ethics.  

Elizabeth completed her PhD thesis, entitled ‘Commercial Indigenous Water Rights in Australian Law: Lessons from Chile’, at the University of Melbourne in 2016, under the University’s Human Rights Scholarship. Elizabeth also worked as a teaching fellow at Melbourne Law School, and later a research fellow with the Centre for Resources, Energy and Environmental Law. During 2013 Elizabeth was a visiting researcher at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile with support from the International Bar Association’s Scholarship for Energy and Natural Resources Law Studies.

Since graduating with a Bachelor of Laws (honours) and Bachelor of Commerce and Administration from Victoria University of Wellington, Elizabeth has practised as an indigenous rights and environmental lawyer, being admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand (2004) and Australian Lawyer and Officer of the Supreme Court of Victoria (2007). She has worked for law firms, government and universities in New Zealand, Australia and Chile, including as a Solicitor at Kensington Swan presenting Maori treaty claims before the Waitangi Tribunal, and as Principal Legal Adviser in public law and Aboriginal affairs at the Victorian Government Department of Premier and Cabinet. During 2016 she was the Assistant Director, Aboriginal Affairs Policy for the Victorian Government, where she advised on the proposal for a treaty between the State and Aboriginal Victorians.

Elizabeth is fluent in English and Spanish.