Gaven Donne

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Sir Gaven Donne
Sir Gaven Donne KBE.jpeg
Born Gaven John Donne
(1914-05-08)8 May 1914
Christchurch, New Zealand
Died 28 March 2010(2010-03-28) (aged 95)
Nationality  New Zealand

Sir Gaven John Donne KBE (8 May 1914 – 28 March 2010) was a New Zealand-born former Chief Justice of Samoa, Niue, the Cook Islands, Nauru and Tuvalu.

Donne was born in Christchurch and educated at Palmerston North Boys' High School, Hastings Boys' High School, Victoria University of Wellington and the University of Auckland.[1] He was admitted to the bar in 1938, and became a magistrate in 1958.[1]

Donne had a long legal career in the Pacific. In 1969 he was seconded to the Supreme Court of Samoa, and in 1972 he was appointed Chief Justice. In 1974 he was appointed Chief Justice of the Cook Islands and in 1975 of Niue. In 1978, he presided over the electoral petitions resulting from the 1978 Cook Islands election, which saw the Cook Islands Party of Albert Henry removed from power for electoral fraud.[2]

In 1982 he was appointed as the first Queen's Representative to the Cook Islands.[3] After completing his term, he became Chief Justice of Nauru and Tuvalu in 1985.[3]

Donne retired from the bench in 2001 making him one of the longest serving judges in the Southern Hempisphere.[4]


  1. ^ a b "Judge who toppled a government dies". Sydney Morning Herald. 29 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-01. 
  2. ^ "Hosking v Browne (1978) CKHC 1; Misc 21-30, 32.1978". 24 July 1978. Retrieved 2010-04-01. 
  3. ^ a b "Sir Gaven Donne KBE". Scoop Media. 30 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-01. 
  4. ^ "Sir Gaven John Donne death notice". New Zealand Herald. 29 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-01.