Minister of Justice (New Zealand)

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Minister of Justice of New Zealand
Coat of arms of New Zealand.svg
Flag of New Zealand.svg
Kiritapu Allan (cropped).jpg
Kiri Allan

since 14 June 2022
Ministry of Justice
Style The Honourable
Member of
Reports to Prime Minister of New Zealand
Appointer Governor-General of New Zealand
Term length At His Majesty's pleasure
Formation13 June 1870
First holder Henry Sewell
Salary$288,900 [1]

The Minister of Justice (in Māori: Tāhū o te Ture) is a minister in the government of New Zealand. The minister has responsibility for the formulation of justice policy and for the administration of law courts.


The current Minister of Justice is Kiri Allan.


The first Minister of Justice was appointed in 1870. This was followed in 1872 by the creation of the Department of Justice.

The Attorney-General is responsible for supervising New Zealand law and advising the Government on legal matters, and has ministerial jurisdiction over the Crown Law Office and the Parliamentary Counsel Office. The position is separate from that of 'Minister of Justice', though the two positions have sometimes been held by the same person, e.g. Geoffrey Palmer (1984 to 1989). [2]

Responsibility for the police has never technically belonged to the Minister of Justice per se. Originally, the Minister of Defence was responsible. During the early 20th century, however, it became established that the person serving as Minister of Justice was also the minister in charge of the police. This continued until the election of the First Labour Government in 1935, when responsibility for the police became detached – the Minister of Police was eventually established as a full ministerial post in 1969.

In 1995, the Department of Justice was split into three parts – a Ministry of Justice would deal with policy matters, while the practical administration of the court system and the prison system would be given their own departments. This resulted in the creation of two new ministerial portfolios – Minister of Court and Minister of Corrections. The former has since been absorbed back into the Justice portfolio, but the latter is still independent.

List of justice ministers


   Independent    Liberal    Reform    United    Labour    National

No.NamePortraitTerm of OfficePrime Minister
1 Henry Sewell Henry Sewell, 1860 cropped.jpg 13 June 187030 October 1871 Fox
2 John Bathgate John Bathgate, taken by an unidentified photographer (cropped).jpg 29 October 187220 February 1874 Waterhouse
3 Maurice O'Rorke George Maurice O'Rorke.jpg 20 February 187413 August 1874
4 Charles Bowen Charles Christopher Bowen, 1878.jpg 16 December 187413 October 1877
5 John Sheehan John Sheehan, 1884.jpg 13 October 18778 October 1879 Grey
6 William Rolleston William Rolleston (cropped).jpg 15 December 188013 April 1881 Hall
7 Thomas Dick Thomas Dick, 1882.jpg 13 April 188111 October 1882
8 Edward Conolly Edward Tennyson Conolly, circa 1892.jpg 11 October 188216 August 1884
9 Joseph Tole Joseph Augustus Tole (cropped).jpg 3 September 18848 October 1887 Stout
10 Thomas Fergus Thomas Fergus, NZETC.jpg 8 October 188717 October 1889 Atkinson
11 William Russell William Russell Russell.jpg 17 October 188924 January 1891
12 William Pember Reeves William Pember Reeves (crop).jpg 24 January 189128 May 1892 Ballance
13 Alfred Cadman Alfred Jerome Cadman (Cropped).jpg 28 May 18921 May 1893
(12) William Pember Reeves William Pember Reeves (crop).jpg 20 July 18936 September 1893
(13) Alfred Cadman Alfred Jerome Cadman (Cropped).jpg 6 September 189328 March 1895
(12) William Pember Reeves William Pember Reeves (crop).jpg 28 March 189510 January 1896
14 William Hall-Jones William Hall-Jones 2.jpg 10 January 18962 March 1896
15 Thomas Thompson Thomas Thompson, 1884.jpg 2 March 189623 January 1900
16 James McGowan James McGowan, 1908.jpg 23 January 19006 January 1909
17 John Findlay John George Findlay.jpg 6 January 190926 December 1911
18 Josiah Hanan Josiah Alfred Hanan, ca 1908.jpg 28 March 191210 July 1912 Mackenzie
19 Alexander Herdman Alexander Herdman.jpg 10 July 191212 August 1915 Massey
20 Robert McNab Robert McNab (1908).jpg 12 August 191520 February 1917
(18) Josiah Hanan Josiah Alfred Hanan, ca 1908.jpg 20 February 191714 November 1917
21 Thomas Wilford Thomas Wilford, 1928.jpg 14 November 191725 August 1919
22 Gordon Coates Joseph Gordon Coates, 1931.jpg 4 September 19193 April 1920
23 Ernest Lee Ernest Lee.jpg 3 April 192013 January 1923
24 Francis Bell Francis Bell.jpg 13 January 192327 June 1923
25 James Parr James Parr.jpg 27 June 192318 January 1926
26 Frank Rolleston Frank Rolleston.jpg 18 January 192626 November 1928
27 William Downie Stewart Jr William Downie Stewart.jpg 26 November 192810 December 1928
(21) Thomas Wilford Thomas Wilford, 1928.jpg 10 December 192810 December 1929 Ward
28 Thomas Sidey Thomas Kay Sidey.jpg 18 December 192928 May 1930
29 John Cobbe John George Cobbe.jpg 28 May 19306 December 1935 Forbes
30 Rex Mason Rex Mason.jpg 6 December 193513 December 1949 Savage
31 Clifton Webb Clifton Webb.jpg 13 December 194926 November 1954 Holland
32 Jack Marshall Jack Marshall 1951.jpg 26 November 195412 December 1957
(30) Rex Mason Rex Mason.jpg 12 December 195712 December 1960 Nash
33 Ralph Hanan Ralph Hanan portrait.jpg 12 December 196024 July 1969 Holyoake
34 Dan Riddiford Dan Riddiford.jpg 22 December 19699 February 1972
35 Roy Jack Roy Jack.jpg 9 February 19728 December 1972 Marshall
36 Martyn Finlay Martyn Finlay, 1968.jpg 8 December 197212 December 1975 Kirk
37 David Thomson David Spence Thomson.jpg 12 December 197513 December 1978 Muldoon
38 Jim McLay Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT - Flickr - The Official CTBTO Photostream (18).jpg 13 December 197826 July 1984
39 Geoffrey Palmer Geoffrey Palmer.jpg 26 July 19848 August 1989 Lange
40 Bill Jeffries Bill Jeffries.jpg 8 August 19892 November 1990 Palmer
41 Doug Graham No image.png 2 November 19901 February 1999 Bolger
42 Tony Ryall Tony Ryall.jpg 1 February 199910 December 1999
43 Phil Goff Phil Goff, 2003.jpg 10 December 199919 October 2005 Clark
44 Mark Burton Mark Burton.jpg 19 October 200531 October 2007
45 Annette King Annette King at Onslow Kindergarten.jpg 31 October 200719 November 2008
46 Simon Power Simon Power (cropped).jpg 19 November 200812 December 2011 Key
47 Judith Collins The Honourable Judith Collins MP.jpg 12 December 201130 August 2014
Chris Finlayson
Acting Minister
Chris Finlayson-Net Hui 2011.jpg 30 August 20148 October 2014
48 Amy Adams Amy Adams politician (cropped).jpg 8 October 201426 October 2017
49 Andrew Little Andrew Little 2019 (cropped).jpg 26 October 20176 November 2020 Ardern
50 Kris Faafoi Hon Kris Faafoi.jpg 6 November 202014 June 2022
51 Kiri Allan Kiritapu Allan (cropped).jpg 14 June 2022present

See also

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  1. [ bare URL PDF ]
  2. "Sir Geoffrey Palmer" (PDF). United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law . Retrieved 15 September 2019.