Attorney-General David Parker has announced the appointment of nine District Court Judges.
The appointees will take up their roles in November and December 2021, replacing sitting judges who have reached retirement age.
There are five women and four men and a range of ethnic and work backgrounds among the appointees.
Those taking up appointment to the District Court are:
The New District Court Judges
Taryn Bayley, barrister of Tauranga, has been appointed as a District Court Judge with a jury jurisdiction to be based in Whangarei.
Taryn Bayley has practised as a barrister sole in Tauranga since 2017, specialising in criminal defence work as well as holding appointment as a Youth Advocate since 2011 for the Eastern Bay of Plenty and Tauranga. A former Crown prosecutor, she has extensive trial experience and was appointed as Counsel assisting the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care.
Judge Bayley will be sworn in on 2 December 2021.
Jacqueline Blake, barrister and solicitor of Gisborne has been appointed as a District Court Judge with a Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Hastings.
Prior to entering into legal practice, Jaqueline Blake was a researcher for the Te Aitanga a Mahaki Waitangi Tribunal claim and a self-employed consultant with Te Runanga o Turanganui a Kiwa and Turanga Health. In 2000 she began her legal career as a staff solicitor at Burnard Bull and Co in Gisborne. She was a partner from 2003 until 2019 and then became a sole practitioner primarily in Family Law.
She has extensive Family Court experience and has been a lawyer for child since 2003. She also has governance experience serving on Whangara Farms, Tapuwae Whitiwhiti incorporation and Gisborne Holdings Limited. Her iwi affiliations include Ngati Konohi, Ngati Porou, Te Aitanga a Hauiti, Te Aitanga a Mahaki, and Te Whanau a Kai.
Judge Haapu-Blake will be sworn in on 4 December 2021.
Traicee Eugene McKenzie, barrister and solicitor of Invercargill, has been appointed as a District Court Judge with a Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Christchurch.
After graduating from Otago University, she joined Watson Savage in Invercargill and then Hewat Galt specialising in criminal and family litigation. She formed her own firm McKenzie Associates (now McKenzie Law) in 1993, becoming a bespoke family law/youth justice practice. Traicee McKenzie is a Lawyer for Child and is on the Ministry of Justice Hague Convention panel.
Judge McKenzie will be sworn in on 15 November 2021.
Kathryn Maxwell, barrister of Auckland, has been appointed as a District Court Judge with a jury jurisdiction to be based in Auckland.
She started work as junior counsel to barristers Michael Levett and Barry Hart before taking a junior barrister role with Barry Hart from 2000 to 2005.
In 2005 she joined the Public Defence Service in Auckland and was a lawyer and senior lawyer in the Manukau and Auckland offices till 2009. Following that, Kathryn Maxwell worked as a Barrister sole and has been in practice for 12 years. She has been based at Sentinel Chambers in Auckland for the past six years. Her experience is primarily in the criminal jurisdiction with an emphasis on jury trails.
Judge Maxwell will be sworn in on 14 December 2021.
Andrew Nicholls, barrister and solicitor of Wellington, has been appointed as a District Court Judge with a jury jurisdiction to be based in Wellington.
He is now the Wellington managing partner at Chapman Tripp and has been a partner at that firm since 2004. His practice has been in commercial law, principally in competition and regulatory change, the energy sector and Pacific issues.
Andrew Nicholls is also involved in community work as Chair of the Newtown Festival Trust and is Chapman Tripp’s relationship partner for the Wellington City Mission.
Judge Nicholls will be sworn in on 9 December 2021.
Maria Pecotic, barrister of Auckland, has been appointed as a District Court Judge with a jury jurisdiction to be based in Waitakere.
She has practised as a barrister sole since being admitted in 1994 and founded Verus Chambers in 2012 having previously been based at Greenlane East Chambers. She has specialised in criminal and youth matters and has significant trial experience. Maria Pecotic is an executive member of the Criminal Bar Association, a member of the Bar Association Criminal Committee, a present member of the NZLS Standards Committee and the NZLS Youth Justice Committee.
Judge Pecotic will be sworn in on 16 December 2021.
Paul Shearer, barrister and solicitor of New Plymouth, has been appointed as a District Court Judge with a Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Christchurch.
He joined Govett Quilliam in New Plymouth as a staff solicitor in 1993 and became an associate in 1996 and a partner in 2000. Specialising in family law, Paul Shearer has acted as lawyer for child in a significant number of matters and has more than 25 years’ trial experience in the Family Court and 15 years’ experience as Youth Advocate in the Youth Court.
Judge Shearer will be sworn in on 30 November 2021.
Terence Singh, barrister and solicitor of Hamilton, has been appointed as a District Court Judge with a jury jurisdiction to be based in Waitakere.
After graduating from the University of Waikato (LLB) and the University of Queensland (LLM) his legal career began in 1996 in Northland with Palmer Macauley Connell Rishworth and then Webb Ross. Terence Singh became a senior prosecutor with NZ Police in 2004 and after that spent time with Crown Law and Inland Revenue in Wellington. In 2011 he joined the Public Defence Service based in Hamilton and is now the duty lawyer supervisor at the Hamilton District Court.
He has also lectured at the University of Waikato in criminal law and the law of evidence and has extensive experience in the criminal jurisdiction.
He is the immediate past president of the Waikato Bay of Plenty branch of the New Zealand Law Society.
Judge Singh will be sworn in on 19 November 2021.
Charles Martin Treadwell, barrister and solicitor of Auckland, has been appointed as a District Court Judge with a general jurisdiction and will take up the position of Chairperson of the Immigration and Protection Tribunal.
He started practice as a staff solicitor with Daniel, Overton and Goulding and then Haigh Lyon in Auckland before becoming a member of the Refugee Status Appeals Authority in 1995. He has since held appointment with a number of immigration tribunals and authorities and has been the Deputy Chair of the Immigration and Protection Tribunal since its establishment in 2010.
He has extensive experience in immigration matters and is the present secretary of the International Association of Refugee and Migration Judges, having been a member and chapter president since 1998.
Judge Treadwell will be sworn in on 18 November 2021.