Judicial Officers Salaries and Allowances (2020/21) Determination 2020

2020/266

Coat of Arms of New Zealand

Judicial Officers Salaries and Allowances (2020/21) Determination 2020

This determination is made by the Remuneration Authority under sections 12B(1) and 19 of the Remuneration Authority Act 1977 and,—

(a)

in relation to the Chief Justice and the other Judges of the Supreme Court, the President of the Court of Appeal and the other Judges of the Court of Appeal, and the Chief High Court Judge and the other Judges of the High Court, under section 135(a) and (b) of the Senior Courts Act 2016:

(b)

in relation to the appointed Judges of the Court Martial Appeal Court, under section 3(3B) of the Court Martial Appeals Act 1953:

(c)

in relation to the Chief District Court Judge, Principal Family Court Judge, Principal Youth Court Judge, Chief Environment Court Judge, and the other District Court Judges, under section 34(a) and (b) of the District Court Act 2016:

(d)

in relation to the Chief Judge and other Judges of the Court Martial, under section 20 of the Court Martial Act 2007:

(e)

in relation to the Chief Judge of the Employment Court and the other Judges of the Employment Court, under section 206(1)(a) and (b) of the Employment Relations Act 2000:

(f)

in relation to the Chief Judge of the Māori Land Court, the Deputy Chief Judge of the Māori Land Court, and the other Judges of the Māori Land Court, under section 13(1)(a) and (b) of Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993:

(g)

in relation to the Chief Coroner, Deputy Chief Coroner, Coroners, and Relief Coroners, under section 110(1) of the Coroners Act 2006.

The Remuneration Authority’s explanatory memorandum is appended.

Determination

1 Title

This determination is the Judicial Officers Salaries and Allowances (2020/21) Determination 2020.

2 Commencement

This determination comes into force on 1 October 2020.

3 Expiry

This determination expires on 30 September 2021.

Judicial officers other than Judges of Court Martial and Coroners

4 Salaries of judicial officers

The salaries payable to the judicial officers specified in Part 1 of the Schedule must be paid at the respective rates set out in that schedule.

5 Principal allowance for general expenses of judicial officers included in salary

An amount representing a principal allowance for general expenses is included within the salary payable to the judicial officers specified in Part 1 of the Schedule and no separate principal allowance for general expenses is payable.

6 Principal allowance of Judge of Supreme Court, Judge of Court of Appeal, or Chief High Court Judge for secondary residential accommodation in Wellington

(1)

This clause applies if—

(a)

a Judge of the Supreme Court, a Judge of the Court of Appeal, or the Chief High Court Judge does not have their primary place of residence in Wellington; and

(b)

the Judge of the Supreme Court, the Judge of the Court of Appeal, or the Chief High Court Judge—

(i)

owns or rents on a continuous basis residential accommodation in Wellington (the secondary residential accommodation); and

(ii)

uses the secondary residential accommodation in lieu of overnight accommodation.

(2)

If this clause applies, the Judge of the Supreme Court, the Judge of the Court of Appeal, or the Chief High Court Judge must be paid, as a principal allowance for the secondary residential accommodation, the amount of the actual and reasonable expenses incurred by the Judge in relation to that accommodation.

(3)

The maximum yearly rate of the principal allowance payable on and after 1 October 2020 is $20,000.

(4)

In this clause, Wellington means the area within the boundaries of the Wellington Regional Council.

Judges of Court Martial

7 Definitions for purposes of clause 8

In clause 8, unless the context otherwise requires,—

appointed Judge of the Court Martial Appeal Court means a Judge of the Court Martial Appeal Court appointed under section 3(1)(b) of the Court Martial Appeals Act 1953

Judge of the Court Martial includes a Deputy Chief Judge but does not include the Chief Judge of that court

year means a period of 12 months ending on 31 December.

8 Salaries and allowances of appointed Judge of Court Martial Appeal Court and Judge of Court Martial

(1)

The salaries and allowances payable to an appointed Judge of the Court Martial Appeal Court and a Judge of the Court Martial must be paid at the respective rates set out in Part 2 of the Schedule.

(2)

An appointed Judge of the Court Martial Appeal Court or a Judge of the Court Martial is presumed to act on a part-time basis unless the Judge performs the functions of the Judge’s office for 226 or more full working days in a calendar year.

(3)

For the purpose of calculating the salary payable for a period during which an appointed Judge of the Court Martial Appeal Court or a Judge of the Court Martial acts on a part-time basis, the daily rate is the yearly rate of salary applicable to that Judge divided by 226 pro-rated in proportion to the amount of the day worked.

(4)

This clause does not apply to a District Court Judge who is also appointed a Judge of the Court Martial.

9 Salary and allowance of Chief Judge of Court Martial

(1)

The Chief Judge of the Court Martial must be paid $168,100 (which is four-and-a-half-tenths of the yearly salary rate set out in Part 2 of the Schedule).

(2)

The allowance payable to the Chief Judge is set out in Part 2 of the Schedule.

(3)

If the Chief Judge performs the functions of that office for more than 101.7 days (being four-and-a-half-tenths of 226 full working days in a calendar year), then, in addition to the salary payable under subclause (1), salary is payable to the Chief Judge at a daily rate of $1,650 (which is the yearly rate set out in Part 2 of the Schedule divided by 226) pro-rated in proportion to the amount of the day worked.

(4)

The maximum amount of salary payable under subclauses (1) and (3) is the yearly rate set out in Part 2 of the Schedule.

(5)

A District Court Judge who holds the office of Chief Judge of the Court Martial must be paid the higher of the following:

(a)

the salary payable to the Chief Judge under this clause:

(b)

the salary payable to a District Court Judge provided for in this determination.

Coroners

10 Definition of Coroner for purposes of clauses 11 and 12

In clauses 11 and 12, unless the context otherwise requires, Coroner

(a)

means a person holding office under any of sections 103, 104, 105, and 105A of the Coroners Act 2006; but

(b)

does not include a person who, under section 22(a) of the District Court Act 2016, is a Coroner by virtue of holding office as a District Court Judge.

11 Salaries of Chief Coroner, Deputy Chief Coroner, and Coroner

(1)

The salary payable to a Chief Coroner must be paid at the rate set out in Part 3 of the Schedule, but, if the Chief Coroner is also a District Court Judge, the Chief Coroner must be paid the higher of the following:

(a)

the salary payable to a Chief Coroner set out in Part 3 of the Schedule; and

(b)

the salary payable to a District Court Judge set out in the Part 1 of the Schedule.

(2)

The salaries payable to a Deputy Chief Coroner and Coroner must be paid at the rates set out in Part 3 of the Schedule.

(3)

If a Chief Coroner or Deputy Chief Coroner ceases to hold that office but continues to hold office as a Coroner, their salary and allowances must be reduced by the amount of any salary or allowances received solely because of their being a Chief Coroner or Deputy Chief Coroner.

(4)

A Relief Coroner appointed under section 104 of the Coroners Act 2006 is entitled to an additional payment of up to $9,700 per annum by way of salary, in recognition of the fact that a Relief Coroner is not entitled to receive superannuation contributions under the Judicial Officers Superannuation Determination 2019, provided that the annual sum of the following amounts does not exceed $332,000:

(a)

the salary payable under subclause (2); and

(b)

any additional payment under this subclause; and

(c)

any superannuation subsidy (inclusive of any tax liability) that the coroner is entitled to be paid by the Crown otherwise than under the Judicial Officers Superannuation Determination 2019.

12 Allowance of Chief Coroner, Deputy Chief Coroner, and Coroner

The Chief Coroner, the Deputy Chief Coroner, and each Coroner must be paid a taxable National Duty Coroner allowance at the rate of $11,000 per annum, in recognition of the fact that each is, from time to time, rostered to act as National Duty Coroner.

Schedule Salaries and principal allowances

cls 4, 5, 8, 9, 11

Part 1 Salaries and principal allowances payable to specified judicial officers on and after 1 October 2020

Judicial officerYearly rate of salary (including principal allowance for general expenses) payable on and after 1 October 2020 ($)
Chief Justice560,100
Judge of the Supreme Court525,400
President of the Court of Appeal525,400
Judge of the Court of Appeal493,500
Chief High Court Judge493,500
Judge of the High Court471,100
Associate Judge of the High Court399,000
Chief District Court Judge471,100
Principal Family Court Judge403,600
Principal Youth Court Judge403,600
Chief Environment Court Judge403,600
District Court Judge358,100
Chief Judge of the Employment Court441,400
Judge of the Employment Court399,000
Chief Judge of the Māori Land Court403,600
Deputy Chief Judge of the Māori Land Court380,700
Judge of the Māori Land Court358,100

Part 2 Salaries and allowances payable to Judges of Court Martial on and after 1 October 2020

Judicial officerYearly rate of salary payable on and after 1 October 2020 ($)Hourly rate of allowance payable on and after 1 October 2020 ($)
Appointed Judge of the Court Martial Appeal Court462,00075
Chief Judge of the Court Martial373,600
Deputy Chief Judge of the Court Martial347,700
Judge of the Court Martial347,700
Deputy Chief Judge acting under section 13(3) of the Court Martial Act 200745
Deputy Chief Judge or Judge when acting on a part-time basis75

Part 3 Salaries payable to Coroners on and after 1 October 2020

Judicial officerYearly rate of salary payable on and after 1 October 2020 ($)
Chief Coroner362,800
Deputy Chief Coroner332,400
Coroner322,300

Dated at Wellington this 22nd day of September 2020.

Fran Wilde,
Chairperson.

Geoff Summers,
Member.

Len Cook,
Member.

Explanatory memorandum

This memorandum is not part of the determination, but is intended to indicate its general effect.

This determination comes into force on 1 October 2020 and expires on 30 September 2021. It sets the salaries and the allowances for the Judges of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, the High Court, the District Court, the Court Martial, the Employment Court, and the Māori Land Court and for Coroners.

Before making this determination, the Remuneration Authority (the Authority) received and considered submissions from all the Heads of Bench. The Authority also met with 2 Bench Heads to follow up on issues particular to their benches.

In making this determination, the Authority took into account the mandatory criteria listed in section 18 of the Remuneration Authority Act 1977 (the Act). In addition, section 18A of the Act requires the Authority to take into account prevailing adverse economic conditions. This is an important criterion at this time given the negative impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the New Zealand economy and society.

Accordingly, this determination maintains the salaries and allowances of the benches at the levels set in the 2019 determination, with 1 exception for the salaries of Coroners.

The adjustments to Coroners’ salaries are a result of the previously stated intention of the Authority to review the approach taken to assessing the salary of Coroners at the time that the Coroners Act 2006 came into force and the changes that it introduced beginning in 2008. The Authority considered the nature of the work done by Coroners since 2008 and their role as judicial officers as well as their recruitment and salary comparisons.

The Authority reviewed its approach to the Judges of the Employment Court, and the Māori Land Court. The Employment Court and the Māori Land Court both have a specialised jurisdiction, having been established by statutes that have evolved over time since being originally formed in the 19th century.

Our consultations made us aware of the limits of the role that remuneration plays in reflecting the positioning of the various benches with each other, compared with the intentions of Parliament and the practical functioning of the judicial system. As we have noted in previous determinations, on occasions we receive arguments that the scope of particular judicial roles has increased over time. The Authority does not have available information that would allow examination of relative shifts in scope of individual benches where those shifts affect one bench in comparison with another bench. It is likely that any evidence that could quantify such shifts, and distinguish them from developments experienced over time in any calling, would consist of factors that are not readily comparable when applying the criteria in sections 18 and 18A of the Remuneration Authority Act 1977.

The Employment Court sits outside the structure of the courts of general jurisdiction, which range from the Supreme Court to the District Court. We have not been able identify why the change in the remuneration of Judges of the Employment Court should differ from other benches. For the same reasons, we consider the distinctive position of the Māori Land Court creates similar challenges as to the limits of remuneration as an indicator of the positioning of different benches in the judicial system. Therefore, after careful consideration, we have decided not to make any further adjustments in this determination to the salaries and allowances of the Judges of the Employment Court and the Māori Land Court as set in the 2019 determination.

We have been informed of the need to recognise a shift in the requirements for Tikanga Māori of candidates for the judiciary across all benches. The Authority recognises that for many of the benches, increasing the share of Judges who are competent in Tikanga Māori has become a priority. The Authority considers that this is primarily a training and development issue that should be included in the activities to be resourced when assessing the operational demands faced by each bench.

Our conclusions in this determination satisfy the need we saw to provide as common a basis as is practical for setting judicial officers’ remuneration and allowances. As a result of our earlier review, adjustments to the remuneration and allowances of the benches with general jurisdiction were implemented in previous determinations. Our conclusions reflect our judgement about the relevance of a change in remuneration to the concerns and criteria that the Authority must give weight to, compared with administrative or structural responses. The Authority will not carry out reviews of particular benches during 2021, although we will continue to identify remedies within our statutory authority where this is required for particular cases.

We continue to see across the benches of the judiciary a strong capacity to adapt. We recognise that this may have the side-effect of obscuring some of the pressures on remuneration. In normal years, in these and other cases, the Authority would seek the views of the Chief Justice, the Minister of Justice, the Attorney-General, the Solicitor-General, and the Secretary for Justice, along with the heads of each bench, before taking into account the available evidence and the arguments presented to us. However, we act cautiously in this process because of the need to anticipate consequential responses in following years from the remaining benches.

Although the consequences of COVID-19 have been the dominant influence on this determination, the Authority will continue to monitor the indicators and benchmarks, including measures of income relativities and economic conditions, to inform its determinations for the judiciary. The Authority considers it cannot prepare for determinations this coming year in the usual manner because of the uncertainties that COVID-19 brings and expects that the nature of the submissions made by the benches and its consideration of them may again be shaped by that uncertainty.

Issued under the authority of the Legislation Act 2012.

Date of notification in Gazette: 24 September 2020.