District Court Judge Rob Ronayne died suddenly at his Auckland home on Tuesday, 7 January. He was aged 64.
In a statement, Chief District Court Judge Heemi Taumaunu says Judge Ronayne had given outstanding and excellent service to the law and to the New Zealand public for over 40 years whilst practising as a barrister and solicitor and then in more recent times as a District Court Judge.
“Judge Ronayne was a senior trial judge at the Auckland District Court which had been his home court since his appointment to the bench seven years ago,” Chief Judge Taumaunu said.
“Judge Ronayne was held in extremely high regard and his judicial colleagues will remember fondly his flair, wit and tireless dedication to serving the administration of justice. My sincere condolences and those of Judge Ronayne’s judicial colleagues are extended to his family and friends at this difficult time.”
“The legal profession is saddened at news of the death of Judge Ronayne. In his time as a lawyer and Crown Solicitor, and then as a District Court Judge, he showed a high level of commitment and dedication to our justice system," New Zealand Law Society Chief Executive Helen Morgan-Banda says.
“He has been a highly valued and respected member of the legal community in Aotearoa New Zealand.”
Judge Ronayne was admitted to the bar in 1978 after graduating with an LLB from Canterbury University. He practised in Auckland for two years before moving to Rotorua and working as a litigator for East Brewster. In 1998 he became a partner and Crown prosecutor at Tauranga Crown Solicitor Ronayne Hollister-Jones Lellman. He was appointed to the District Court bench in 2013 and was sworn in at Tauranga on 22 March 2013.
To honour Judge Ronayne’s memory, the Chief Judge met with judges and staff of the Auckland District Court on 8 January and led karakia in Judge Ronayne’s chambers and elsewhere in the building.