This memorandum is not part of the determination, but is intended to indicate its general effect.
This determination, which is deemed to have come into force on 1 October 2012 and expires on 30 September 2013, sets the salaries and principal allowances for the Judges of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, the High Court and District Court benches (including the salary and allowance of a District Court Judge who currently holds the judicial office of chief coroner), the Employment Court, and the Maori Land Court.
The Remuneration Authority (the Authority) is required to have regard to the following when setting judicial remuneration and allowances:
the need to achieve and maintain fair relativity with the levels of remuneration received elsewhere; and
the need to be fair both—
the need to recruit and retain competent persons.
In addition, the Authority must take into account—
the requirements of the position concerned; and
the conditions of service enjoyed by the persons whose remuneration is being determined and those enjoyed by the persons or members of the group of persons whose remuneration and conditions of employment are, in the opinion of the Authority, comparable with those of the persons or members of the group; and
any prevailing adverse economic conditions, based on evidence from an authoritative source; and may determine the remuneration at a rate lower than it would otherwise have determined.
In setting the remuneration for the judiciary this year, the information that the Authority considered included—
submissions made by the Chief Justice, High Court Judges, District Court Judges, Employment Court Judges, and Maori Land Court Judges; and
remuneration data made available to it in respect of private sector legal remuneration of groups with comparable skills and experience and from which groups it can be expected that Judges of the High Court could be recruited; and
remuneration data made available to it in respect of private sector legal remuneration of groups with comparable skills and experience and from which groups it can be expected that District Court Judges could be recruited; and
growth in the New Zealand Consumers Price Index and Labour Cost Index over the previous year; and
information on the recruitment of Judges from a range of sources, including the Attorney-General, the Chief Justice, Heads of Benches, and the Solicitor-General; and
conditions of employment enjoyed by members of the judiciary; and
prevailing economic conditions.
Against that background, the Authority has made an increase of around 2.5% in salaries for judicial officers. That increase is broadly in line with the adjustments made by the Authority in 2012 in respect of the other groups and senior positions in the public sector for which it sets remuneration.
No change has been made to the yearly principal allowance for general expenses. The Authority recognises the need to review the appropriateness and intended scope of this allowance and continues to work with the judiciary on this.