Wellington District Court Judge John Walker has been appointed Principal Youth Court Judge.
His appointment follows former Principal Youth Court Judge Andrew Becroft's appointment as Children's Commissioner.
Judge Walker was admitted as a barrister and solicitor in 1975. He practised with Wellington law firm Macalister Mazengarb and was a barrister in Wellington before being appointed to the Bench in 1994.
He was Executive Judge for the Wellington region from 2004 to 2010 and has acted as both Principal Youth Court Judge and Chief District Court Judge.
Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson says Judge Walker developed the Youth Drug Court in Christchurch and has had leading roles in improving the courts' handling of family violence cases and responses to drug and alcohol dependent persons.