Attorney-General David Parker today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.
Two of the appointees will take up their roles on 1 April, replacing sitting Judges who have reached retirement age.
Kirsten Lummis, lawyer of Auckland has been appointed as a District Court Judge with jury jurisdiction to be based in Auckland.
Her first role was with Govett Quilliam in New Plymouth as a solicitor in the litigation team before becoming an Associate. Following that she spent almost four years working overseas in London in a range of temporary roles for local authorities before returning to New Zealand, taking up a role with Meredith Connell in Auckland as Crown Prosecutor. She was made a partner in 2014.
Judge Lummis will be sworn in on 1 April 2021.
Nick Webby, lawyer of Auckland has been appointed as a District Court Judge with jury jurisdiction to be based in Manukau.
His legal career commenced as a junior barrister in the chambers of Marie Dyhrberg QC before joining Short and Partners as a Solicitor. In 2005 he joined Meredith Connell as a Crown Prosecutor. He is now a principal at that firm. His experience is primarily in the criminal jurisdiction with a particular focus on prosecuting serious sexual and physical violence cases.
Judge Webby will be sworn in on 1 April 2021.
Ophir Cassidy, a lawyer of Auckland has been appointed as a District Court Judge to the Waitakere District Court with a general jurisdiction warrant to sit as Youth Court Judge and to lead the Rangatahi Courts at both Hoani Waititi and Orakei Marae.
She commenced her legal career in 2002 with King Alofivae Malosi (KAM) the first Māori and Pasifika woman law firm in Manukau. She is the fifth lawyer from that firm to be appointed to the bench. In 2005 Ms Cassidy became an associate and then a partner of Manukau Law where she practices Family Law as a Lawyer for Child and Youth Advocate and has been the principal of that firm since 2010.
Her earlier career was in education as a deputy principal in a total immersion kura in South Auckland. Ms Cassidy was an executive member of the Family Law Section from 2013 – 2016 and the co-president of Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aotearoa the Māori Law Society in 2017 and 2018. In 2020 Ms Cassidy was appointed as counsel to assist the panel on the Waitangi Tribunal for the urgent Oranga Tamariki inquiry. She was also appointed as senior Counsel to assist on the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State and Faith based Care. She is a current board member of Youth Horizons Trust.
Fluent in Te Reo, Ms Cassidy’s iwi are Ngāti Porou and Ngāti Whātua ki Kaipara.
Judge Cassidy will be sworn in on 17 April 2021.