Auckland District Court Judge Robert Ronayne has died. He was 64.
Police officers found his body at his Remuera home on Tuesday after responding to a sudden death event, several reports say.
Chief District Court Judge Heemi Taumaunu paid tribute to Ronayne’s outstanding service to the law and the New Zealand public over his career that spanned more than 40 years.
“Judge Ronayne was held in extremely high regard and his judicial colleagues will remember fondly his flair, wit and tireless dedication to serving the administration of justice. My sincere condolences and those of Judge Ronayne’s judicial colleagues are extended to his family and friends at this difficult time,” Taumaunu said.
Ronayne has served as a senior trial judge at the Auckland District Court since he was appointed to the bench seven years ago.
“Judge Ronayne joined the bench after 34 years’ legal practice, primarily as a litigator. He studied law at the University of Canterbury and was admitted to the bar in 1978. He practised briefly in Auckland and then for nearly 20 years in Rotorua. In 1998, he joined a law firm as a partner in Tauranga, and went on to become a senior Crown prosecutor in that district until his appointment in 2013,” Taumaunu said.
To honour the judge’s memory, Taumaunu met on Wednesday morning with judges and staff of the Auckland District Court and led karakia.