Prime Minister Henry Puna announced yesterday the advice of Cabinet will be conveyed to the Queen’s Representative Tom Marsters to proceed with the formal warrant of appointment for James.
A Canadian national resident in New Zealand, James will replace Kim Saunders, who returned to New Zealand last year to become a District Court Judge.
Puna said he was pleased to announce the Cabinet decision and thanked Cheryl McCarthy (nee King) for her role as acting Solicitor General with the Crown Law Office following Saunders’ departure.
James has extensive public and private sector experience in New Zealand and around the Pacific, including Kiribati where he served as Solicitor General, and Pitcairn Island where he was a public defender.
Puna has expressed gratitude to the appointment committee, which included private sector lawyers.
The committee conducted interviews and appraisals of all the candidates, both local and overseas, before submitting its recommendation to Cabinet.
Of the 14 applications received, only four were from within the Cook Islands.
Puna says based on the deliberations of the committee, Cabinet was satisfied with its recommendation.
James’ experience in both the private and public sector was a key factor, as well as his interests, both personal and professional, in the Pacific region, the Prime Minister said.
“At 65, Mr. James has the maturity, experience, and ability to meet the challenge of the role.”
He is expected to take up his three-year term before the end of January 2016.