Two Acting District Court Judges were appointed District Court Judges from 20 December 2017, a notice in the New Zealand Gazette of 11 January 2018 states.
Alan Mina Wharepouri has been appointed a District Court Judge to exercise civil and criminal jurisdication and with a warrant to conduct jury trials.
Judge Wharepouri was appointed an Acting District Court Judge on 1 June 2016. He was the first Tongan-born Judge to be sworn in in New Zealand. Admitted in October 1995 he worked with Kensington Swan and then Russell McVeagh before working for Meredith Connell from 2003 to 2011 where he led District Court and High Court jury trials. Judge Wharepouri became a barrister sole in 2012 until his appointment to the judiciary.
Kevin Donald Kelly has been appointed a District Court Judge to exercise civil and criminal jurisdiction.
Judge Kelly was appointed an Acting District Court Judge on 24 May 2016. Until his appointment he was Deputy Secretary Treaty and Director Office of Treaty Settlements at the Ministry of Justice, a position he had held since 2012. He held senior legal positions within New Zealand Police, including Chief Legal Advisor from 2009 to 2012, and before that he held senior positions within Land Information New Zealand, Ministry of Economic Development, State Services Commission and Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.