Principal Environment Judge Newhook’s tribute to Tony Ray

To Leanne, Sophie, Olivia, Tony’s wider family, friends and colleagues. 

I am incredibly sad to hear of Tony’s sudden and untimely passing.  I would dearly liked to have been with you today, but am conducting a special sitting of the Environment Court here in Auckland to honour Professor Ken Palmer who is retiring this month after many years at Auckland University.

Tony and I go back a long way.  I have not been able to put my finger on it exactly, but it’s at least 30 years, probably more.  Our association came about in two ways, a shared love of yachting, and involvement in planning and resource management law.  Tony reminded me not long ago (and not for the first time), that he remembered the competitive and quite raucous crew of my racing yacht. Tony and his yachting associates were much more gentlemanly!

I remember Tony as a warm, outgoing and caring human being.  He was passionate about his sailing, and a darn good, knowledgeable and sensible lawyer.  It was also clear to me that he was a very loving and caring husband and father, an impression gained not only from things that Tony said, but also from my reading of the fascinating blogs about the delivery voyage from Europe to New Zealand on the Hanse yacht built for the family in Germany. 

I convey to Leanne, Sophie, and Olivia the deepest sympathy of members of the Environment Court, noting particularly that in the early years Tony worked with David Kirkpatrick in Auckland. 

Laurie Newhook

Principal Environment Judge

Environment Court of New Zealand