Heather Simpson, a District Court Judge, became a Bahá'í in 1983. She had been associating closely with the Bahá'í community for some years prior to that. She says:
"I was attracted to the Faith because of the teachings about justice."
Briefly summarising her career, Heather says:
"I graduated with a law degree from Auckland University in 1975. Since then, I practised law in a country law firm for 12 years until I was appointed a District Court Judge in 1986."
Judge Simpson was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2002 for services as a District Court Judge.
"My career has had many highlights, especially in the opportunities I have had to attend conferences and meet other people engaged in the same profession."
From 1995-2005, she served the Bahá'í community as a member of the Continental Board of Counsellors for Australasia. The Counsellors who comprise this high-ranking body are advisors, appointed on a five-yearly basis, who assist the Bahá'í community with its growth and development.
"Being a Bahá'í enriches my life through the serenity received from daily communication with God through prayer and reading the Holy Writings. The lessons learned from this spiritual practice are applied in my daily life and my work," she says.
Heather tutors Ruhi study circles when she is able to do so, and is currently writing a book about Margaret Stevenson, New Zealand's first Bahá'í. Heather has lived in New Zealand throughout her life. Her ancestry is Scottish and English, and her family has long-standing roots in New Zealand.
"I was born in Auckland. My parents lived all of their married life in that city. My father was an elder of the Presbyterian Church. My first New Zealand ancestor arrived in Wellington in 1841, and my father's family has lived in Auckland for three generations. Although my mother was born in Dunedin, her parents came from Wairoa. My mother also had most of her schooling in Auckland. I have one sister, who is an academic now living in Glasgow, Scotland."
As a member of the Bahá'í community, Judge Simpson lists among her memorable experiences: two periods of service on the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of New Zealand, service as a Head Teller at the election of the Universal House of Justice in 1993, attendance at the dedication of the Bahá'í House of Worship in Samoa in 1984, attendance at the dedication of the Bahá'í House of Worship in India in 1986, and attendance at the inauguration of the Seat of the International Teaching Centre, at the Bahá'í World Centre, Mount Carmel, Israel, in 2001.