Trevor Henry

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For the Irish cricket umpire, see Trevor Henry (umpire).
Trevor Henry
Henry in 1971
Henry in 1971
Born Trevor Ernest Henry
(1902-05-09)9 May 1902
Died 20 June 2007(2007-06-20) (aged 105)
Nationality  New Zealand
Occupation lawyer, judge

Sir Trevor Ernest Henry (9 May 1902 – 20 June 2007) was a New Zealand justice and member of the well known Henry family.

Henry was born in Thames in 1902 and was the son of John and Edith Henry. He was the eldest of the three sons who include Jack Henry and Clive Henry. He studied law at the University of Auckland before being admitted as a barrister in 1925.

He was one of the founding partners of the Auckland law firm, Wilson Henry (now Hesketh Henry), and was involved in several high-profile cases during the 1930s, including the murder trial of Eric Mareo and Dove-Myer Robinson's landmark lawsuit to prevent the Auckland Drainage Board discharging sewerage in Auckland Harbour.

Henry was raised to the bench of the Supreme Court of New Zealand in 1955, the same year that his son, John Henry was raised to the bar. He was knighted in 1970 for his services to Her Majesty's New Zealand justice system. In 1984, Sir Trevor and John made New Zealand legal history as the first father and son to sit together on a High Court bench in New Zealand. Sir Trevor was also a Justice of the Fijian Court of Appeal and served a term as the Chief Justice of Tonga.

Sir Trevor also continued the Henry family's long history of community involvement, sitting on the 1936 New Zealand Olympic Games Committee, serving three terms on the New Zealand Parole Board and chairing the New Zealand War Pensions Appeal Board.

His career was described by The New Zealand Herald in his obituary as "meteoric." His inauguration ceremony at the Supreme Court in 1955 saw one of the largest-ever turnouts of Auckland society and Sir Justice Findlay remarked that Sir Trevor possessed a "Wiseness, a sense of duty and an experience of men and affairs which should light his path to the end that justice should truly be done"

In his eulogy, Sir Duncan McMullin described Sir Trevor as a humble man, devoid of pretence, with a meticulous approach to surveying evidence and a sharp mind to analyse issues at the heart of any case. He remained active in New Zealand law well into his 90s, offering opinions and publishing articles on a range of legally related subjects.

Following his death in 2007 at the age of 105, the New Zealand Herald revealed allegations that Sir Trevor had secretly fathered two children with a young Maori princess.[1]

Sir Trevor is survived by his two children Rowan Spackman and John Henry.


  1. ^ Woulfe, Catherine (1 July 2007). "The judge, Maori Princess and the secret family". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2008-07-01.