Pioneering judiciary couple to be back on the bench

by Sol Dolor05 Jun 2019

Two years after retiring, a pioneering husband-and-wife team returns to the District Court bench.

Annis Somerville and Peter Rollo have been appointed as acting judges of the District Court, Attorney-General David Parker has announced.

The couple had their final sitting at the Huria Marae in Tauranga on 10 February 2017. They are the first husband-and-wife judiciary officers in New Zealand.

Rollo will also exercise the criminal jurisdiction of the court, while Somerville will exercise the jurisdiction of the Family Court. The duo has been appointed to two-year terms, commencing on 10 June.

Sommerville, who is of Ngāi Tahu and Scottish descent, was the first judge appointed to the first Māori Family Court. She was also the only woman in the judicial common rooms in the courts in Tauranga and Rotorua for a decade, according to The Bay of Plenty Times.