In a New Zealand first, two judges jointly retired at a ceremony at a Tauranga marae yesterday afternoon - and to compound the novelty, the pair just so happen to be married.
Judge Peter Rollo and Judge Annis Somerville, who sat in the Tauranga District Court, married in 1998.
Judge Rollo was sworn in on 14 July 2000 and Judge Somerville on 2 March 2001.
The pair met in Dunedin, where Judge Rollo studied English and law, and Judge Somerville gained a diploma of teaching, before studying law.
She was also a founding member of the Otago Women's Law Society, and was the first female member of the Otago District Law Society to be appointed a judge.
Their retirement ceremony was held yesterday afternoon at Tauranga's Huria Marae, due to the large number of attendees, and also because of Judge Somerville's Māori heritage.
As Ngāi Tahu - but having been in Tauranga for nearly 16 years - Judge Somerville said she had to be innovative to keep in touch with her iwi.
"I am part of a group here ... We link in with our whakapapa ... down south. We've visited there, taken people up here who, of course, have never been down south, and we've also brought people up from down south to speak with us. So that's been a very important group for me."
While Judge Rollo is not tangata whenua, he is learning te reo Māori, and is passionate about Māori language and culture.
He also sat as a judge in both the Rangatahi Court at Huria Marae, and at Wairaka in Whakatane.
Having practised law for more than 35 years, and been a sitting judge for 16, Judge Rollo said it could be difficult to strike a balance between work and home life.
"The law is a harsh mistress.
"There's a lot of time spent, when you're not at work, home, preparing for cases. There's quite a lot of separation that comes about, so trying to seek balance between your personal life and your professional life amongst that - particularly with husband and wife judges - is not easy."
The pair planned to retire to Wanaka, to build a home, relax, and spend time with family.