Delight at a big shift into a smaller community

Judge Chris Sygrove — District Court Judge 

After 35 years in private legal practice in Wellington, I moved to New Plymouth when I was appointed a District Court judge in 2014.

Image of Judge Sygrove.My wife, Robyn, and I were delighted at the prospect of moving to New Plymouth. The locals have been more welcoming and hospitable than we could have imagined and we have made many good friends.

The vibe here is almost palpable and the city beats with a warm, prosperous and creative heart.

Mount Taranaki is spectacular, and the 14-kilometre coastal walkway is marvellous; popular for walking, running and biking. We live near Pukekura Park, a beautiful place to walk our dog and enjoy the native bush.

Moving from Wellington was a big shift at this stage in our lives, but we wouldn’t change it for a thing. We surprised ourselves at how quickly we adapted to our new home and we fully owe that to the wonderful people of Taranaki.

These days I enjoy dealing mainly with criminal matters and jury trials. I also enjoy the collegiality of Judges Lynne Harrison and Garry Barkle.

From the bench it is clear that the people here value and respect their judiciary. The Taranaki Daily News reports our decisions on a daily basis, much to my initial surprise.

Integrating into a small community has been an enriching experience. I feel privileged to have been appointed a judge and downright lucky to have landed in Taranaki.

"We surprised ourselves at how quickly we adapted to our new home and we fully owe that to the wonderful people of Taranaki"