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Experience . . . North Otago Justices of the Peace (from left) Geoff Brown, Clare Kearney, Alona Shaw, Joan McMullan, Struan Munro and Jane Naish have been recognised for their services. PHOTO: GUS PATTERSON

Being appointed as a Justice of the Peace (JP) is recognition of leadership and standing in a community, Judge Dominic Dravitzki says.

At a special sitting at the Oamaru District Court last week, Alona Shaw, of Omarama, and Geoff Brown, of Oamaru, were officially sworn into JP roles.

“The role of a Justice of the Peace is a long-standing one,” Judge Dravitzki told Mrs Shaw and Mr Brown.

“These roles are given to people who they know will take them seriously.”

Mrs Shaw has been the co-owner of the Omarama Four Square for the past six years and said it was an honour to become a JP.

“We are quite time-poor owning a supermarket, and it’s a way of giving back to the community with the small time we do have,” she said.

Mr Brown recently retired from his 32 years of involvement with Placemakers. He has been extensively active in the community through his work with Lions Clubs New Zealand, the Chamber of Commerce and the Waitaki Resource Recovery Park.

“I’m born and bred in Oamaru,” he said.

“If I can be of a bit of help doing this it will be great.”

After the pair were sworn in, several other Waitaki JPs were recognised for their efforts at a special ceremony at the Brydone Hotel.

Joan McMullan, of Oamaru, and Struan Munro, of Otematata, received certificates for 30 years of service. Mr Munro had served for an additional three years because of his role as Waitaki County Council chairman.

Clare Kearney received her certificate for becoming a judicial justice, a role Paul Murray was retiring from.

Jane Naish, who had been a JP for 28 years, retired from her role.

Early in her tenure, Mrs Naish was “dropped in the deep end” serving as a registrar, a job she had completed with distinction, North Otago Justice of the Peace Association president Warwick Ormandy said.

“It’s a very involved job. There is quite a commitment to it,” Mr Ormandy said.

“She has done a lot of work.”