MACKENZIE, Alan Donald
High Court Justice Alan MacKenzie
|Postion & Titles:|
|Judge of:||High Court, Wellington, since 2004|
|Specializations and Professional Interests:|
|Professional Comments:||Generally mild mannered and seemingly in quiet control, yet out of his depth on the bench. Justice MacKenzie’s low ranking is the result of a broad perception his legal skills, judgment and articulation of the English language do not rise to the level of his peers.To many lawyers and litigants who know MacKenzie, this is an understatement.
One case in point: In 2010 Alan MacKenzie threw out single mother Amanda Pickard’s product liability claim against Rinnai NZ Ltd. Ms Pickard and her 11 year old son had suffered carbon monoxide poisoning, allegedly from a defective gas burner. MacKenzie ruled this could not be from the Rinnai heater because ‘soot’ was not found on the walls. Even Rinnai’s lawyers reportedly hung their heads in embarrassment. Rinnai had offered Ms Pickard $350,000 to settle days before MacKenzie’s ruling. As it eventuated, MacKenzie ordered Ms Pickard to pay Rinnai’s legal costs. In April 2015, Rinnai took Ms Pickard’s $400,000 Kapiti Coast home to settle the award. The defective heater remained with the house.
With any NZ judge other than MacKenzie, the travesty would have been chalked up to corruption, proving, with MacKenzie at least, that judicial incompetence can be just as deadly to the unsuspecting litigant seeking justice.
|Background / Education:||Attended Otago University, graduating BA in 1966 and LLB in 1967. He joined Chapman Tripp & Co in Wellington in 1967 as a staff solicitor, moving to Stone Kurta & Co in 1970.He became a partner of the firm, now Stone & Co., in 1971 and gained an LLM 2nd class 1st div (Hons) the same year. He continued as a partner when the firm became Rudd Watts & Stone in 1983. In 2001 he became a barrister sole. He was appointed to the bench of the High Court in 2004.|
|Degrees:||BA Otago, 1966, LLB Otago, 1997, LLM (Hons.) 1971|
|Admitted to the Bar:||1967|
|Interesting Relationships and Coincidences:|