New Principal Disputes Referee

Associate Minister of Justice, Aupito William Sio has announced today the appointment of Janet Robertshawe as the Principal Disputes Referee.

“Ms Robertshawe has a strong commitment to alternative disputes resolution and she is committed to improving the Tribunal’s response to New Zealand’s increasingly diverse culture.

“I am confident that she has the vision to take the Tribunal forward,” says Aupito William Sio.

The Principal Disputes Referee is appointed by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Minister. The appointment runs for a term of five years.

An appointments panel chaired by Chief Judge Heemi Taumaunu unanimously recommended Ms Robertshawe as its preferred candidate for the position of Principal Referee.

Ms Robertshawe holds an LLB (Hons) and a B.Com (Economics). Between 1992 and 2008 she worked in several solicitor positions in Wellington and Invercargill.

She served as a trustee of the Southland Scottish Hall Community Trust (2009 to 2014) and the Stadium Tennis Club (2009 to 2014).  She has held dual warrants as a Disputes Tribunal Referee and Tenancy Adjudicator since 2008. 

Ms Robertshawe has also previously been a volunteer with the Citizens Advice Bureau and the Dunedin Community Law Centre.

“She has an in-depth knowledge of the Disputes Tribunal Act 1988 and she is clearly well-established and is well regarded within the Tribunal,” says Aupito William Sio.

Note to Editors:

The position of Principal Disputes Referee is established by section 6A of the Disputes Tribunal Act 1988.

The Principal Referee ensures that the integrity of the Tribunal is maintained and enhances the quality of decision making by Referees.

The Principal Referee oversees the selection of Referees, gives legal advice to Referees and advises the Chief District Court Judge.