A promotion to judge also means a return to his roots for Tauranga barrister Dean Blair.
Blair was sworn in as a judge in the Tauranga District Court this afternoon, watched by colleagues, family and friends as well as local judges.
Principal Family Court Judge Jacquelyn Moran presided over the ceremony, which was also attended by Acting Chief District Court Judge John Walker.
Blair, 53, has worked as a lawyer in Tauranga since 2003 but his new role will be based in Hamilton, the city where he grew up.
He said he was looking forward to returning to a city that was different to that of his youth.
"It's more vibrant and making great use of the river and the lake."
He is a proud graduate of Fairfield College, where he was head boy, leaving before his year was up to pursue work opportunities.
At 18 he went to Auckland University to study law. It was less of a calling and more something he thought he would try and see if it suited him - and it did.
He was admitted to the bar in Nelson in 1989 and worked there for a few years before deciding to do something completely different with the rest of his 20s.
Blair went to Waitomo and became an adventure guide, working in the then-fledgling black water rafting industry in the Waitomo Caves.
Calls for 'monster' Jason Reihana to die slow, painful death
'Kick in the guts': Double murderer's early release
Colin Jeffries-Smith jailed for death of gang member
He did a little legal work on the side, and also spent time working as a sea kayak guide in Abel Tasman National Park.
When he turned 30 he decided to settle down and return to the law full time.
He married Kim and they had two sons in Nelson before moving to Tauranga and having a third son. The boys are now aged 14, 18 and 20.
Blair said being a father had helped with his work in the Family Court, which primarily involved representing children in court, ensuring their independent perspective was conveyed.
His sons had given him a fresh view on what it was like to be their age, and he believed he would continue to benefit from that "reality check" in his new role.
As a judge, he would continue to primarily work in the Family Court, albeit seeing proceedings from a different perspective.
He said becoming a Judge was the logical next step in his profession, and was something he began to think about when he turned 50.
In Tauranga, he worked for Holland Beckett and Hollister-Jones Lellman before setting up his own practice, which he had been winding down since Attorney-General David Parker announced in May that Blair would be made a judge.
Blair said the main thing he hoped to bring to the bench was humility, as well as respect for the users of the court.
He has never lost his taste for adventure or enjoyment of sport.
These days, he is a keen surfer - usually at Mount Maunganui but also further afield, from Maketū to Raglan to Gisborne and even the Philippines.
"This is my outlet, my sport. For many years I would come out of cases feeling tired and worn down, and head into the water and be reinvigorated."