Statement from the Governor-General regarding the death and knighthood of Hon Justice Robert Chambers
It is with great sadness that I learned of the death of Hon Justice Robert Chambers, who will be remembered as one of New Zealand's great legal minds. Justice Chambers was appointed to New Zealand's highest court, the Supreme Court, in 2011, following a distinguished career as a barrister, Queen's Counsel, and later Judge of the High Court and Court of Appeal. His untimely death at such a young age is a significant loss to the legal community and to New Zealand.
Justice Chambers' achievements and contribution to New Zealand have been recognised by his appointment as a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to the judiciary. This appointment had been approved by Her Majesty the Queen before his death, and was to have been announced in the Queen's Birthday Honours List on 3 June. Given the special and very sad circumstances, his appointment has taken effect from 20 May. As at that date, he is now entitled to be referred to as Sir Robert Chambers, KNZM, QC.
At this sad time, on behalf of my wife Janine and my family, I extend my deepest sympathies to Lady Chambers, Sir Robert's wider family, and his many friends and colleagues. I hope that it is of some comfort to them that he had been advised before his death that he was to receive this honour, so that he had the pleasure of knowing that his distinguished service and achievements were to be publicly recognised in this way.
Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae
Governor-General of New Zealand