Judges at Work

Individual judges explain their roles and the diverse skills and experience they bring to the bench.

Image of the judges profiled in the Judges at Work section.

  • A different way to deal with sexual violence cases

    Judge Anne Kiernan — Auckland Managing Judge, Sexual Violence Court Pilot Image of Judge Anne Kiernan. Judge Anne Kiernan I am proud to be leading the Sexual Violence Court Pilot at the District...

  • Reflections on change from a long-serving judge

    Judge Patrick Grace — Family Court Judge As a new judge in 1995 I found it a humbling experience to preside over a Family Court hearing and then make a decision that...

  • The constructive role of the judge as a mediator

    Judge Tony Lendrum National Resource Judge for Family and Civil Settlement Conferences Image of Judge Lendrum. A judicial settlement conference is a type of mediation conference convened by a judge. It aims...

  • Administering justice through a cultural lens

    Judge Frances Eivers — Tangata Whenua Judge Ngā taonga tuku iho nō ngā tūpuna A core cultural value of Maori is to establish a connection or kinship — whanaungatanga. Tāngata whenua are connected to the...

  • Autism's unique challenges for the court

    Judge Chris McGuire — District Court Judge Those on the autism spectrum present a unique set of challenges for a judge. It is rare that these people commit crimes because they set out...

  • Story-telling that puts a human face on the judiciary

    Judge Robert Murfitt — Family Court Judge Image of Judge Murfitt with his children's book Claire and the Weka. It is well recognised that the practice of family law, including judging, is...

  • Insights from the playhouse to the courthouse

    Judge Rosemary Riddell — Family Court Judge My career as a Family Court judge began 11 years ago. While loving the job, I’ve also been able to supplement it by pursuing my...

  • A changing society complicates property disputes

    Judge Maureen Southwick QC — Family Court Judge In the five years I have spent as a Family Court judge in Manukau the complexity of issues coming before the court has noticeably...

  • Delight at a big shift into a smaller community

    Judge Chris Sygrove — District Court Judge After 35 years in private legal practice in Wellington, I moved to New Plymouth when I was appointed a District Court judge in 2014. Image of...

  • Country to city, delivering justice for different communities

    Judge Jenny Binns — Family Court Judge As a District Court judge I have adjusted well to working in a city after starting out in a smaller centre. I have never found change...

  • At the interface between constitution and community

    Judge Emma Smith — Chief Judge’s Advisory Board Member I was invited to join the Chief District Court Judge’s Advisory Board in 2017 and I hold the public sector portfolio. The...

  • Serving Wellington: the most varied job in the world

    Judge Peter Butler — District Court Judge I have been a judge for 14 years, first in Invercargill, then as resident judge at Hutt Valley District Court, and now in Wellington. This means...

  • The challenge of new areas in the civil jurisdiction

    Judge Philippa Cunningham — District Court Judge The nature of work in the District Court’s civil jurisdiction is always increasing in type and complexity which makes it both challenging and interesting. I work...

  • Holding the fort in pivotal roles

    Judge Anthony Walsh — Family Court Judge/Youth Court Judge I had the privilege of being Acting Principal Family Court Judge for two months in 2014 and Acting Principal Youth Court Judge in...

  • Ensuring a swift response to family violence allegations

    Judge Jacquelyn Moran — Family Court Judge For the past 14 years I have sat as a Family Court judge in Ōtautahi Christchurch. Cases involving allegations of domestic violence are a significant...