Christiansen, Anthony Peter
Associate High Court Justice Anthony CHRISTIANSEN
|Postion & Titles:|
|Judge of:||Associate Judge High Court, Christchurch 2004||Former District Court Judge, Napier|
|Specializations and Professional Interests:|
|Professional Comments:||Went on leave initially after appointment due to resurfacing of allegations of sexual abuse by women. Two years previously, then District Court Judge Christiansen had to resign after staffer at that Court accused Justice Christiansen os sexual assault. (Further info below)|
|Background / Education:|
|Admitted to the Bar:||19|
|Interesting Relationships and Coincidences:||The appointment surprised many in the legal profession but not because they felt Christiansen, was not up to it; in fact he is regarded as a highly capable jurist. His legal background means he is well equipped to deal with summary judgments in commercial issues such as insolvency, debt, and company and land transfers. What was surprising about his appointment was that he was a highly regarded former Napier District Court judge, before resigning his position in unusual circumstances in 2001. He quit abruptly after suddenly walking out of a Napier courtroom during an adjournment.At the time Associate Judge Christiansen said a combination of private matters and the demands of a tough job were behind his decision. However, it emerged he resigned after a sexual assault incident involving a female court worker (Probation Officer Gail Neilson) in a Gisborne motel. It is understood the two had shared dinner with colleagues but Judge Christiansen entered Ms Neilson’s room after she had retired early. The probation officer Gail Neilson accepted an apology and $10,000 from the judge.
Associate Judge Christiansen went on to work for the legal Services Agency in Wellington before returning to the bench in 2004. The sexual assault matter raised its head again in December 2003 when Neilson laid a complaint with the Napier police. During the police investigation Judge Christiansen remained on full pay but did not sit in Court.