Russell Walker has been appointed as a judge of the District Court, Attorney-General David Parker announced.
The barrister and solicitor will have both jury and Family Court jurisdiction and will be based in Invercargill. He will be sworn in on 26 August.
Walker has been a sole practitioner in Palmerston North since 1997. He has been counsel in various criminal matters in the district court and in appeals in the High Court.
He has focused on Family Court work since 2005 and has conducted more than 300 mediations. He is a family dispute-resolution partner and an accredited mediator by the Resolution Institute.
Parker said that the new judge is approved as lawyer for child and lawyer to assist. He is also a youth advocate and has been heavily involved in regional Law Society initiatives involving the Family Court, the attorney-general said.