David Collins (judge)

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The Honourable
David Collins
Justice of the High Court
Assumed office
15 March 2012
Solicitor-General of New Zealand
In office
Preceded by Terence Arnold
Succeeded by Michael Heron
Personal details
Born (1954-03-18) 18 March 1954 (age 64)
Alma mater Victoria University of Wellington

David Collins QC (born 18 March 1954) is a Judge of the High Court of New Zealand.[1][2] He was the Solicitor-General of New Zealand from 1 September 2006 to 15 March 2012, before being made a judge of the High Court in 2012.[3][4]


Collins graduated from Victoria University of Wellington with a LL.B.(Hons)(First Class) in 1975 and an LL.M. in 1976. He was awarded an LL.D. by Victoria University in 1993. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Law at Victoria University.[5]

Professional qualifications[edit]

Collins was admitted to the New Zealand Bar in 1976. He was admitted to the State of Victoria Bar and the High Court of Australia Bar in 1986. He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 2000.[6]


Upon graduating from Victoria University in 1975, Collins took up a three-month research position at Rhyne & Rhyne in Washington DC. After this role concluded he returned to New Zealand and completed his LL.M. He commenced a two-year clerkship for the Judges of the High Court and Court of Appeal of New Zealand between 1976 and 1978.

In 1979, Collins commenced practicing law in Wellington as a solicitor for Chapman Tripp. In 1982 he was admitted to partnership in a firm that subsequently merged and is today known as Rainey Collins. He remained at the firm until 1995. In 1996 he left practice to become a barrister. During this period he conducted several appeals before the Privy Council in London. He took silk in 2000.

Prior to his appointment as Solicitor-General, Collins was Chair of the Accident Compensation Commission, and Chair of the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal. Collins has served terms as President of the Wellington District Law Society, Vice-President of the New Zealand Law Society, and Executive Vice President and member of the Board of Governors, World Association of Law and Medicine.[5] In 2006, Collins was appointed Solicitor-General. He remained in this role until he was appointed a High Court Judge.[5]

He appeared as senior counsel in over 30 Supreme Court and Privy Council decisions, including:

Collins has authored a textbook,[7] and has been a contributory author for three other texts.[8][9][10] He has written a number of articles.


Collins has been actively involved in mountaineering and tramping.[7]


  1. ^ "The Judges of the High Court — Courts of New Zealand". Courtsofnz.govt.nz. Retrieved 2015-06-12.
  2. ^ "Courts of New Zealand". Courtsofnz.govt.nz. Retrieved 2015-06-12.
  3. ^ "Appointment of Dr David Collins QC as High Court Judge". Beehive.govt.nz. Retrieved 2015-06-12.
  4. ^ "Solicitor General appointed High Court judge". Nzherald.co.nz. Retrieved 2015-06-12.
  5. ^ a b c "Appointment of Dr David Collins QC as High Court Judge | Scoop News". Scoop.co.nz. 2012-02-21. Retrieved 2015-06-12.
  6. ^ "Appointment of Dr David Collins QC as High Court Judge". Beehive.govt.nz. 2012-02-21. Retrieved 2015-06-12.
  7. ^ a b Collins, David (1992). Medical Law in New Zealand. Brooker & Friend.
  8. ^ The Welfare State Today. Fourth Estate. 1977.
  9. ^ District Courts Practice (Criminal). Butterworths. 1994.
  10. ^ Festrchift Fur Erwin Deutsch. Carl Heymanns Verlag. 1999.