Saturday, April 13, 2024

Three new District Court Judges appointed

Tania Warburton, Tania Sharkey and Ali’imuamua Alofivae have been appointed as District Court Judges, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.

The appointees will take up their roles in July, August and September respectively, replacing judges who are about to retire.

Ms Warburton, a solicitor of Wellington, has been appointed as a District Court Judge with a jury jurisdiction, to be based initially in Wellington.

She was as a judge’s clerk to the then Chief Justice, Sir Thomas Eichelbaum, before becoming Crown Counsel with Crown Law in 1999. In 2013 Ms Warburton was appointed Deputy Chief Legal Counsel at the Ministry of Justice. Since 2015, she has worked at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet as legal advisor to the Prime Minister.

Judge Warburton will be sworn in on 28 July 2023.

Ms Sharkey, a barrister of Auckland, has been appointed as a District Court Judge with a family jurisdiction, to be based in Manukau.

Ms Sharkey is of Tongan (Houma, Tongatapu) and Irish descent. After initially working as a solicitor in Auckland, she established herself as a barrister at Friendship Chambers in Manukau, practising mainly in the family law area. 

In early 2020, Ms Sharkey was appointed Lead Counsel Assisting of the Pacific peoples’ investigation in the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in Care. She has been a Parole Board member since 2020, and has held various legal positions, including President of the Pacific Lawyers Association (2018-2021) and several years as Family Law Section Regional Representative (South Auckland).

Judge Sharkey will be sworn in on 4 August 2023 and will take up her appointment at the Manukau District Court.

Ms Alofivae, barrister of Auckland, has been appointed as a District Court Judge with a general jurisdiction, to be based in Manukau.

Ms Alofivae worked as a solicitor for several sole practitioners before establishing the partnership of King Alofivae Malosi in 1994. She was a partner in that firm before setting up practice as a Barrister Sole in 2005. She was one of the first lawyers to be appointed to the Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Court in Auckland.

Ms Alofivae has had a corporate governance career alongside her legal practice. In 2016, she was appointed the independent Chair of the South Auckland Social Wellbeing Board and in 2018 she was appointed as a Commissioner to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in Care.

Judge Alofivae will be sworn in on 4 September 2023.

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