Dr David Williams holds a personal chair as Professor of Law at The University of Auckland. After study at the Victoria University of Wellington, he was a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford. He has tertiary qualifications in history, law and theology including a PhD from the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. He has taught at the University of Dar es Salaam and the University of Auckland.
David has also been an independent researcher and barrister specialising in legal history research relevant to Treaty of Waitangi claims. For many years he was an activist in the Citizens Association for Racial Equality (CARE). He has worked with many iwi, but especially with Ngāti Whātua Orakei from the days of the Bastion Point/Takaparawhau occupation in the 1970s through to the enactment of the Ngāti Whātua Orakei Treaty Settlement Act 2012.
Other publications include the Māori Land Legislation Manual, Crown Policy Affecting Māori Knowledge Systems and Cultural Practices, Mataurangā Māori and Taongā and A simple nullity?: The Wi Parata case in New Zealand Law and History.