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Memorial to Supreme Court judge being repaired after botch-up

11 July 2018

The Ministry of Justice says a memorial to Sir Robert Chambers at the Auckland High Court was “irreparably damaged” by contractors and is being repaired.

Sir Robert Chambers was a Supreme Court Judge who died on 21 May 2013, at the age of 59.

In November 2016 the Justice Minister Amy Adams unveiled a plan for the garden at the Auckland High Court to be developed as a memorial garden in honour of Sir Robert. The garden, which consists of an inscribed low granite wall, lighting, planting, a paved area, and mounted bench seat, was unveiled in March this year.

However, during routine work the part of the memorial containing the tribute to Sir Robert was damaged.

Sir Robert Chambers memorial


“The ministry discovered defects earlier this year to the stonework being used in the garden and so covered up part of it until it was fixed,” says Fraser Gibbs, the Ministry’s General Manager Commercial and Property.

“During removal, the inscribed marble was irreparably damaged and has been replaced with plain stonework.  The costs of the remediation work are being met by the main contractor.”

The total cost of the memorial garden is more than $340,000.

Robert Stanley Chambers graduated LLB(Hons) at Auckland University in 1975 before going to Oxford University where he obtained a DPhil in 1978.

He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1992. Justice Chambers was President of the Auckland District Law Society from 1997 to 1998 and a New Zealand Law Society Vice-President from 1998 to 1999.

Justice Chambers was appointed to the High Court in 1999, the Court of Appeal in 2004 and to the Supreme Court in 2011.

Last updated on the 11th July 2018