Remuneration for judicial officers

The Authority sets remuneration (comprising of salary and superannuation entitlements) for judicial officers; it also sets allowances for general expenses for some judicial officers.

The term judicial officers covers the roles listed in section 12B of the Remuneration Authority Act 1977.

Work related expenses for judicial officers are set by the Attorney-General, and administered by the Ministry of Justice.

Current remuneration

Information on the current remuneration for judicial officers is in:

Judicial Officers Salaries and Allowances (2019/20) Determination 2019

Judicial Officers Salaries and Allowances (2019/20) Amendment Determination 2020

Judicial Officers Salaries and Allowances (2019/20) Amendment Determination (No 2) 2020

Superannuation for judicial officers

Judicial officers appointed since 1992 participate in a defined contribution scheme, which is set out in the: 

Judicial Superannuation Determination 2019 

Judicial Officers Superannuation Amendment Determination 2020

Judicial Officers Superannuation Amendment Determination (No 2) 2020

On retirement a judicial officer is entitled to receive the proceeds from their retirement savings scheme.

Judicial officers appointed before 1992 and who are members of the Government Superannuation Fund are entitled to receive defined superannuation benefits under the Judges Scheme of the Government Superannuation Fund Act 1956.

Legislation covering judicial officers’ remuneration

The following Acts establish the current system of judicial remuneration:

  • Remuneration Authority Act 1977, s.12B which gives the Authority responsibility for setting the salaries, principal allowances and, where appropriate, superannuation rights and obligations of judicial officers. These include the:
    • Chief Justice, the other Judges of the Supreme Court, the President of the Court of Appeal, the other Judges of the Court of Appeal, the Chief High Court Judge, and the other Judges of the High Court appointed Judges of the Court Martial Appeal Court;
    • appointed Judges of the Court Martial Appeal Court;
    • Chief District Court Judge, the Principal Family Court Judge, the Principal Youth Court Judge, the Principal Environment Judge, and the other District Court Judges;
    • Chief Judge of the Court Martial and the other Judges of the Court Martial;
    • Chief Judge of the Employment Court and the other Judges of the Employment Court;
    • Chief Judge and the Deputy Chief Judge of the Maori Land Court and the other Judges of the Maori Land Court;
    • Associate Judges of the High Court; and the
    • Chief Coroner, the Deputy Chief Coroner, and the other Coroners (other than 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).
  • The Constitution Act 1986, Part 4, ss. 23, 24 which contains provisions on the judiciary reflecting the principle of judicial independence which informs the Authority’s determinations on judicial remuneration. In particular the act provides that High Court judges cannot be removed from office except in exceptional circumstances; and that the salary of a High Court Judge cannot be reduced.
  • The Government  Superannuation Fund Act 1956, Parts 4, 5A and 5B, ss. 72 which sets out the superannuation arrangements for judges appointed before 1992.
  • Senior Courts Act 2016
  • District Court Act 2016
  • Court Martial Appeals Act 1953
  • Court Martial Act 2007
  • The Employment Relations Act 2000
  • Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993

The Authority sets judicial salaries on the basis of the criteria in the Remuneration Authority Act, ss.18, 18A.