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National questions appointment of former Judge

National questions appointment of former Judge

National MP Judith Collins is questioning the appointment by Attorney General Margaret Wilson of a former Napier District Court Judge as a Master of the Court. Anthony Christiansen resigned from his job, following a complaint from a female court worker that he had made an inappropriate advance toward her.

"At the time Justice Minister Phil Goff said that the former Judge could have brought the judiciary into disrepute. Additionally, in response to his appointment to the Legal Services Agency earlier this year Mr Goff said that Mr Christiansen's job was different to that of a judge because he was 'no longer judging misdemeanours'.

"This is another controversial appointment by Margaret Wilson, who has a record of failed appointments. It is very concerning given the proposed Supreme Court Bill that will see her in charge of appointing New Zealand's top Judges in one sweep," said Mrs Collins, a former president of the New Zealand Law Society.

"I would like to know whether she consulted with Phil Goff given his comments of criticism about Anthony Christiansen over the past 18 months.

"It is unusual for a Judge to return to the judiciary. Margaret Wilson needs to tell New Zealanders why it has occurred in this case, when a Judge has left previously under controversial circumstances," Mrs Collins said.

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