The Honourable Justice Murray Ashley Gilbert has been appointed a Judge of the Court of Appeal, Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson announced today.
Justice Gilbert graduated with an LLB from Auckland University in 1977. In 1976 he joined Kensington Swan in Auckland as a law clerk, graduating to solicitor upon his admission to the bar and becoming a partner in 1985. In 1996 he became a partner at Chapman Tripp, where he remained until forming the partnership Gilbert Walker with Campbell Walker QC in 2004. There he specialised in commercial litigation with an emphasis on defending negligence claims. He was appointed a Senior Counsel in 2008.
Justice Gilbert was appointed as a Judge of the High Court in January 2012.
Thirteen lawyers have been appointed Queen’s Counsel this year, Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson QC announced today.
They are:Auckland – John Dixon, Suzanne Robertson, Rachael Reed, Paul Borich, Adam Ross, Jennifer Cooper, Simon Mount, Andrew Barker, Greg Blanchard, Campbell Walker; Tauranga – Grant Brittain; Wellington –James Every-Palmer, Tony Angelo.
“The appointment to the rank of Queen’s Counsel recognises individuals who have excelled at the highest level of law,” Mr Finlayson said. “I am pleased to be able to announce the newest silks to be admitted to the inner bar.
“Professor Tony Angelo of Wellington has been appointed under the Royal Prerogative in recognition of his extraordinary contribution to the law, particularly to legal education and to constitutional development in the South Pacific.”
Appointments of Queen’s Counsel are made by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Attorney-General and with the concurrence of the Chief Justice.
Biographies of Queen’s Counsel
Professor Tony Angelo is currently Professor of Law at Victoria University of Wellington. Professor Angelo holds a BA and LLM from Victoria University and an Ordre des Palmes Académiques (Chevalier). Professor Angelo’s research focus is on comparative law and private international law, with a particular focus on the law of small states. He has published extensively on the laws of Mauritius, the Seychelles and other small nations of the Pacific. Professor Angelo’s connection to Mauritius began in 1968 and he was formerly the Special Advisor to the office of the Attorney-General. He has also made a valuable contribution to constitutional development in South Pacific states and is currently the constitutional advisor to the Government of Niue and Legal Advisor to the Government of Tokelau.
John Dixon graduated with a BCom and LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland and a LLM from the University of Chicago. He was admitted in 1992 and practised in New York from 1994 to 2003, first at the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell and then as a prosecutor for the Kings County District Attorney in Brooklyn. After returning to New Zealand he joined Meredith Connell and was a partner in that firm from 2007. Mr Dixon joined the independent bar in 2015 and specialises in competition and consumer law, and criminal prosecution and defence.
Suzanne Robertson graduated with a BCom, LLB (Hons), and a LLM (First Class Honours) from the University of Auckland. She was admitted in 1990 and joined Chapman Tripp, before spending some time in the United Kingdom in an in-house counsel role and as a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Wolverhampton. Ms Robertson joined the independent bar in 1997. She specialises in competition law, relationship property law and disputes concerning land tenure, contract and trusts.
Rachael Reed graduated with an LLB (Hons) from Victoria University, and was admitted in 1996. She worked at Chapman Tripp and the Serious Fraud Office before joining Meredith Connell in 2003. After spending some time in the London firm Byrne and Partners, Ms Reed returned to Meredith Connell in 2006 and joined the independent bar in 2012. Ms Reed specialises in serious and complex fraud and is a member of the Serious Fraud Office Prosecution Panel and the Crown Panel (Auckland and Manukau).
Paul Borich graduated with an LLB from the University of Auckland was admitted in 1988. He joined the Auckland firm Rice Craig and became a partner in that firm in 1996. In 2014 Mr Borich joined the independent bar. He specialises in criminal law, including criminal appeals to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
Adam Ross graduated with a BA and LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland, and an LLM from the University of Virginia. He was admitted in 1989 and joined Kensington Swan, before becoming a partner in Chapman Tripp in 1996. Mr Ross joined the independent bar in 2015. He specialises in commercial and corporate litigation, commercial crime and regulatory offences, and liability insurance.
Jennifer Cooper graduated with a BA and LLB (Hons) from the University of Otago, and a BCL (first class) and MPhil from the University of Oxford. She was admitted in 1995 and worked for the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 1998 to 2002, which included working with international courts and tribunals as Second Secretary at the British Embassy in The Hague. Ms Cooper joined Bell Gully in 2003, becoming a partner in that firm in 2009. In 2011 Ms Cooper joined the independent bar and specialises in financial markets, securities law, competition and fair trading, and insolvency.
Simon Mount graduated with a LLB (Hons) and a LLM (distinction) from the University of Auckland and a LLM from Columbia Law School. He was admitted in 1995. He joined Meredith Connell as a Crown prosecutor in 2000 before going to the independent bar in 2010. Mr Mount has held teaching positions at Columbia Law School and University of Auckland. Since 2015 he has been the Attorney-General for the Pitcairn Islands. His practice focuses on public inquiries, public and regulatory law, and professional disciplinary proceedings.
Andrew Barker graduated with a BA and LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland and an LLM from the University of Toronto. He was admitted in 1995 and joined Russell McVeagh. Following post-graduate study, Mr Barker joined the Law Faculty at the University of Otago in 1999 where he lectured in Tort law and Civil Procedure. He joined the independent bar in 2002. He practices in commercial litigation with a particular specialty in trusts, construction litigation and financial services regulation.
Greg Blanchard graduated with a BA and LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland. He was admitted in 1996 and joined Kensington Swan. After two years at the London office of Baker & McKenzie, he returned to Kensington Swan in 2003 where he became a partner in 2004. Mr Blanchard joined the independent bar in 2008 and has a general commercial litigation practice, specialising in insolvency and taxation.
Dr Campbell Walker graduated with a BA and LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland, a LLM from Yale University, and a PhD from the University of Cambridge. He was admitted in 1992, and between 1998 and 2003 he practised international arbitration in the Paris and London offices of Shearman & Sterling. In 2004 he returned to New Zealand and was a founding partner of Auckland firm Gilbert Walker. In 2014 he joined the independent bar and specialises in arbitration, contract, insurance and professional negligence.
Grant Brittain graduated with an LLB and was admitted in 1991. Before joining the independent bar in 2002, he practised civil and commercial litigation in Wellington, Auckland and Tauranga. Mr Brittain is based in Tauranga and has a general civil practice, specialising in claims in contract and tort arising out of construction issues.
Dr James Every-Palmer graduated with a BA (Hons) and LLB (Hons) from the University of Otago, a LLM from Harvard Law School, and a DPhil from the University of Oxford. He was admitted in 1994 and gained international experience at the OECD, the International Monetary Fund and the New York firm Sullivan & Cromwell before joining Russell McVeagh in 1998. He became a partner in that firm in 2001 and joined the independent bar in 2013. Mr Every-Palmer specialises in commercial litigation with a focus on economic regulation and competition law.
Employment Court Judge Christina Inglis has been appointed Chief Judge of the Employment Court to replace Chief Judge Colgan who will retire in July, Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson announced today.
Judge Inglis was appointed to the Employment Court Bench in 2011, having previously been a District Court Judge. Prior to becoming a member of the judiciary, she was a Crown Counsel for many years and led the Crown Law Human Rights Team between 2007 and 2010. Her extensive litigation experience included numerous appearances in the Employment Court and the Employment Relations Authority.
She graduated with a Master of Arts with Honours from Canterbury University and a Master of Laws with Honours from Victoria University.
Mr Finlayson also acknowledged the commitment and fine work undertaken by Chief Judge Colgan since his appointment in 2005.
Chief Judge Inglis will take up her new position on 10 July 2017 and will be based in Wellington.
Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson today welcomed the public release of Stage 1 of the Inquiry into Havelock North Drinking-Water. Stage 1 addresses the causes of the water contamination incident and assesses the conduct of those responsible for providing safe drinking water in Havelock North.
“The water contamination incident severely affected the residents of Havelock North,” Mr Finlayson said. “I am pleased this report comprehensively identifies the causes of the gastroenteritis outbreak and sets out the interim steps which have been taken to improve the safety of Havelock North’s drinking-water.
“I thank the Inquiry Panel for its thorough and candid examination of the drinking-water contamination incident and look forward to delivery of Stage 2 of its report,” Mr Finlayson said.
Stage 2 will address systemic issues and provide recommendations about managing water supply across New Zealand to safeguard against such an outbreak occurring in the future. It is due to be reported back to the Attorney-General by 8 December 2017.
The Government is now considering the findings of Stage 1 of the Inquiry and will respond in due course.
The report is available at www.dia.govt.nz/Government-Inquiry-into-Havelock-North-Drinking-Water.
Notes for editors:
Summary of key findings of Stage 1 of the Inquiry:Sheep faeces containing campylobacter were the likely cause of the outbreak. The Te Mata aquifer was not confined (as was assumed prior to the Inquiry’s process) and was vulnerable to contamination. Several parties, particularly the Hawkes Bay Regional Council (the Regional Council), the Hastings District Council (the District Council), and the Drinking Water Assessors (DWAs) failed to adhere to the high levels of care and diligence necessary to protect public health. None of the faults, omissions or breaches of standards directly caused the outbreak. Had all or any of these failings not occurred, however, a different outcome may have resulted. The Regional Council failed to meet its Resource Management Act responsibilities and to take specific and effective steps to assess contamination risks to the Te Mata aquifer (from which Havelock North’s water was drawn) and the attendant risks to drinking water safety. The District Council did not embrace or implement the high standard of care required of a public drinking water supplier, particularly in the light of its experience with a similar outbreak in 1998. The District Council’s mid-level managers delegated tasks but did not adequately supervise or ensure their implementation. The District Council did not properly manage plant and equipment maintenance or keep records of that work; and it carried out little or no supervision of necessary follow up work. There were significant gaps in readiness, such as the District Council’s lack of an Emergency Response Plan (contingency plan). There was a critical lack of collaboration and liaison between the Regional Council and the District Council. The absence of regular and meaningful cooperation resulted in a number of missed opportunities that may have prevented the outbreak. The DWAs were too hands off and should have been stricter in ensuring the District Council complied with its responsibilities.
The Crown has signed a Deed of Settlement with Ngāti Tamaoho at Mangatangi Marae settling its historical Treaty claims, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Christopher Finlayson announced today.
“Crown actions and omissions left Ngāti Tamaoho virtually landless by 1900 and resulted in socio-economic depravation, the effects of which can still be seen today,” Mr Finlayson said. “Today’s settlement provides an acknowledgement, apology and redress for the Crown’s historical breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi.”
Commercial and financial redress totalling $10.3 million includes the transfer of and opportunity to purchase specified Crown property. Ngāti Tamaoho will also receive a cultural revitalisation fund of $590,000 as part of its cultural redress.
“We can never fully compensate Ngāti Tamaoho for the wrongs of the past. But this settlement marks the beginning of a new relationship between Ngāti Tamaoho and the Crown and provides the foundation for a stronger social, cultural and economic future for the iwi.
“Signing this Deed of Settlement is an important step towards settling historical grievances in the Tāmaki Makaurau region and New Zealand as a whole,” Mr Finlayson said.
Ngāti Tamaoho is a member of the Tāmaki Collective. The iwi’s area of interest area spans from the Manukau Harbour to Franklin District, the Hūnua Ranges, Awhitū peninsula, the Waikato wetlands, Tīkapa Moana (Firth of Thames) and north to central Auckland including Remuera and Ellerslie.
A copy of the deed of settlement is available online at: www.govt.nz/treaty-settlement-documents/ngati-tamaoho/.
Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson leaves for France tomorrow to represent New Zealand at commemorations for the centenary of the Battle of Arras.
“Members of the New Zealand Tunnelling Company and the Māori Pioneer Battalion played an important role in Arras during the First World War,” Mr Finlayson said. “Over four and a half months they created almost 10 kilometres of underground passages which were capable of sheltering over 12,000 people.”
More than 100 descendants of the tunnellers will participate in New Zealand’s commemorations, along with representatives of the Cook Islands. Mr Finlayson will also represent New Zealand at commemorative events led by France, Canada and Scotland.
“I am pleased to represent the New Zealand Government at commemorations to remember all those that served in Arras during the First World War,” Mr Finlayson said. “The strong tie New Zealand has with the city of Arras was recognised in 2014 when the tunnel underneath Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington was named the Arras Tunnel.”
Dunedin lawyer David Robinson has been appointed a coroner, Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson announced today. He replaces Brigitte Windley who was appointed a coroner in 2015 and now returns to Wellington.
Mr Robinson is currently a partner of the Dunedin law firm Gallaway Cook Allan. He has worked primarily in the area of civil litigation, including acting in substantial trust disputes, commercial litigation, construction law matters and maritime disputes. He also spent a number of years acting as a Crown prosecutor, conducting jury trials and appeals to the High Court.
Mr Robinson takes up his appointment on 7 April 2017.
Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson announced today that the report-back date for the independent Inquiry into Havelock North Drinking-Water has been extended at the request of the Inquiry’s Panel.
The Panel, which began proceedings in October last year, will now report back to the Government in two stages.
Stage 1 will address matters relating directly to the Havelock North water contamination incident and the response to that incident. It will include findings of fact and fault. Following Cabinet approval, Stage 1 is now due to be reported back to the Attorney-General by 12 May 2017.
Stage 2 will address systemic issues and provide recommendations about managing water supply across New Zealand. It will examine the existing statutory and regulatory regimes involved in delivering drinking-water to see if improvements can be made. Stage 2 of the Inquiry is now due to be reported back to the Attorney-General by 8 December 2017.
An extension to the report-back date was requested by the Panel for a number of reasons, including:delays caused by legal action between the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and the Hastings District Council; delays caused by the need to ensure the interim safety of Havelock North’s drinking-water; the Inquiry’s decision to adopt a two-stage approach to the Inquiry; and the underlying complexity of the statutory and regulatory regimes involved.
“The issues facing the Inquiry must be examined comprehensively to ensure we have a clear understanding of what happened in Havelock North,” Mr Finlayson said. “New Zealanders must be able to have confidence that the rules and practices which govern the safety of their drinking water are fit for purpose.”
The Inquiry was originally scheduled to report back by 31 March 2017. The terms of reference for the Inquiry will be amended by notice in the New Zealand Gazette to cover the new reporting dates.
The Inquiry was established under the Inquiries Act 2013 and is statutorily independent of government.
The Honourable Justice Denis Clifford has been appointed a Judge of the Court of Appeal, Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson announced today.
Justice Clifford graduated LLB (Hons) from Victoria University of Wellington in 1978. He joined the Wellington law firm Buddle Anderson Kent & Co, leaving in 1980 to take up a position as Visiting Fellow at the University of Illinois Law School.
In 1982 Justice Clifford returned to New Zealand to work for Buddle Findlay before moving to London in 1984 to work for Slaughter and May. He returned to New Zealand in 1986 and became a partner at Buddle Findlay, a position he held until 2001. From 1998 to 2000 Justice Clifford was on secondment with the Policy Advisory Group in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. He joined the independent bar in 2002.
Justice Clifford was appointed a Judge of the High Court in April 2006.
The Crown has signed an agreement in principle with Ngāti Rangi to settle its historical Treaty of Waitangi claims, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Christopher Finlayson announced today.
Ngāti Rangi has an area of interest centred around the upper Whangaehu River catchment, on the southern flank of Mount Ruapehu, including the settlements of Ohakune and Waiouru.
“Today marks an important milestone in negotiations with Ngāti Rangi and demonstrates the commitment and hard work of Ngāti Rangi leaders,” Mr Finlayson said. “This agreement provides a strong basis from which to develop a deed of settlement.”
The Agreement in Principle outlines a broad settlement package which includes provisional Crown acknowledgements of Treaty of Waitangi breaches as well as cultural, financial and commercial redress.
The total value of the financial and commercial redress outlined in the agreement is $17 million. Cultural redress focuses on the significant conservation lands, and the management of those lands, within Ngāti Rangi’s area of interest as well as redress aimed at re-establishing relationships with key Crown agencies.
A copy of the Agreement in Principle is available at: www.govt.nz/treaty-settlement-documents/.