An Auckland barrister has been appointed an Acting District Court Judge to sit in the Family Court in Hastings.
Anna-Marie Skellern, who will be sworn-in on November 9 in Rotorua, will also be warranted to do jury trials.
Chief Judge Jan-Marie Doogue said the appointment had been made because of a "realignment" of court districts, resulting in some of the caseload in Gisborne courts being transferred from judges in the Auckland and Waikato districts to those from the Hawke's Bay courts.
Courts in Napier and Hastings continued to be rostered by resident judges Geoff Rea, Tony Adeane, Bridget Mackintosh and Family Court judge Peter Callinicos.
The new Hastings Courthouse, opened three years ago, has facilities for jury trials but none has been held there and Chief Judge Doogue said there were no plans to have such trials in the court.
Judge Skellern, whose appointment was confirmed by Attorney-General Chris Finlayson last month, was admitted to the Criminal Bar in 1985 and is a partner in Rotorua and Auckland firm Bergseng and Co. Having specialised in family law, she this year completed an LLM thesis on the Children and Property (Relationships) Act 1976, and serves on the NZ Law Society Family Violence Standing Committee.