Justice Dame Ellen France, recently appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court, a Catholic woman, thinks that being knighted reflects the work of the judiciary overall.In the Queen’s Birthday Honours, Justice Ellen France was named a Dame Companion to the New Zealand order of Merit for services to the judiciary.

Dame France has been president of the Court of Appeal since September 2014.

She was appointed a High Court judge in 2002, following a legal career which began in Auckland in 1981, then working in government service in various roles.

Dame Ellen said she believes the honour is not just for her but for the work of the Court of Appeal and judiciary more broadly, and for its important “public service” role in society.

Last year, Dame France sat on the Court of Appeal’s first all female bench ever, with Justices Christine French and Helen Winkelmann.

About three in 10 of the country’s judges are women.

Dame France’s husband, Justice Simon France, is a High Court judge.