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 2016 and expires on 30 September 2017, 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 Māori 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—
to the persons or group of persons whose remuneration is being determined; and
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 of persons whose remuneration is being determined.
The Authority must also take into account 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 for the year from 1 October 2016, the information that the Authority considered included—
submissions that were received from the various benches; 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 the Judges could be recruited; and
growth in the New Zealand Consumers Price Index and labour market statistics as published by the Government Statistician over the previous year; and
information on the recruitment of Judges from a range of sources, including the Attorney-General, the Chief Justice, and Heads of Benches; and
remuneration data for senior positions in the public sector; and
conditions of employment enjoyed by members of the judiciary; and
prevailing economic conditions.
Against that background, the Authority has made an increase of approximately 1.7% (rounded) in salaries across all courts.
The salary increases for the Judges in this determination are broadly in line with the adjustments made by the Authority during the last year in respect of other groups and senior positions in the public sector for which it sets remuneration.
The Authority this year reviewed the principal allowances applicable to each judicial position and has left them at their current level. However, all allowances, remuneration, and superannuation benefits are currently under review by the Authority, which is also considering any changes that may need to be implemented when the Senior Courts Act 2016 and the District Court Act 2016 come into force on 1 March 2017.