Five new District Court judges appointed

Appointments will help the court manage the impact of the pandemic lockdown period

Five new District Court judges appointed

Attorney-General David Parker has announced the appointment of five additional District Court judges in the key locations of Auckland, Manukau, Whangarei, and Christchurch.

According to Parker, the five judges have been appointed to help deal with the impact of the COVID-19 lock down period on the court system, which is under significant caseload pressure.

The five new District Court judges are: Joanne Hambleton, barrister of Dunedin, appointed as a District Court judge with Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Christchurch; Stephen Bonnar and Belinda Sellars, both barristers of Auckland, who have been appointed as District Court judges with jury jurisdiction to be based in Auckland; Karen Grau, lawyer of Paekakariki, who has been appointed as a District Court judge with jury jurisdiction to be based in Manukau; and Philip Rzepecky, barrister of Auckland, who has been appointed as a District Court judge with jury jurisdiction to be based in Whangarei.

The five appointments are the first of several new District Court judge appointments – with a further 10 expected to start work early in the New Year replacing Judges who have reached retirement age. 

In total, Parker said that 15 new Judges will take up appointment between February and April 2021.  

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