Leadership of the District Court

The Chief District Court Judge, together with the Principal Family Court Judge and Principal Youth Court Judge, oversees the operation of the District Court. The Chief and Principal Judges are the public face of the court. Each has responsibility under New Zealand law to ensure the “orderly and expeditious conduct” of their courts.

The National Executive Judge supports the Chief Judge in the management of some administrative projects, particularly the International Framework for Court Excellence. The Tangata Whenua Advisor advises the Chief Judge on matters concerning te ao Māori, and chairs the judges’ Kaupapa Māori Advisory Group.


 

Chief District Court Judge

Chief Judge Jan-Marie Doogue

Picture of Chief Judge Jan-Marie Doogue. Head and Shoulders.

The Chief District Court Judge is the head of the District Court Judiciary. He or she is appointed by the Governor-General on the advice of the Attorney-General. The Chief Judge is responsibility for the orderly and efficient conduct of the court’s business.

The Chief Judge, however, cannot overrule or review another District Court Judge’s decision.

The current Chief Judge is Judge Jan-Marie Doogue.

Her Honour Judge Jan-Marie Doogue is the Chief District Court Judge of New Zealand and was appointed to that position on 1 September 2011.

Read more about Her Honour Chief Judge Jan-Marie Doogue.


 

Principal Family Court Judge

Principal Family Court Judge Laurence Ryan

The Principal Family Court Judge is responsible for ensuring the orderly and expeditious discharge of the business of the Family Court, in consultation with the Chief District Court Judge.

The current Principal Family Court Judge is Judge Laurence Ryan.

Picture of Principal Family Court Judge, Judge Laurence John Ryan

His Honour Judge Laurence John Ryan was appointed Principal Family Court Judge of New Zealand in February 2013.

Read more about His Honour Judge Laurence John Ryan.


 

Principal Youth Court Judge

Principal Youth Court Judge John Walker

The Principal Youth Court Judge is responsible for ensuring the orderly and expeditious discharge of the business of the Youth Court, in consultation with the Chief District Court Judge.

Picture of Judge John Walker. Head and Shoulders. 

His Honour Judge John Walker was appointed Principal Youth Court Judge of New Zealand in July 2016.

 Read more about His Honour Judge John Walker.


 

National Executive Judge

National Executive Judge L Hinton

The National Executive Judge assists the Chief District Court Judge. He or she oversees some judicial committees and particular projects, particularly the District Court’s IFCE Assessment.

The current National Executive Judge is Judge L Hinton.