Sunday, April 21, 2024

Seismic verdict for NZ’s busiest courthouses

The Government has committed $150 million for the seismic strengthening of three of New Zealand’s busiest courtrooms.

The works will take place at Auckland District Court, Hamilton District Court and Wellington High Court.

“These courthouses are critical to the performance of our justice system and offer a wide range of services for the community. These upgrades will ensure the buildings are resilient well into the future,” said Justice Minister, Ginny Andersen.

“We want to ensure every New Zealander has access to justice in a secure, accessible, and fit for purpose environment.”

The courts will remain open during the seismic work, with the Ministry of Justice currently working on plans to minimise disruption to court services.

The Auckland District Court project is expected to cost around $83 million, while the Hamilton District Court and Wellington High Court work will cost approximately $37 million and $30 million, respectively.

Start dates for these projects will be confirmed once the procurement processes are completed. The funding will come from Ministry of Justice tagged contingencies for property health and safety, plus additional funding from existing baselines.

The Ministry is also currently working through a wider capital works plan to progress major court projects and upgrades where needed. This includes the building of new courts in Whanganui and Tauranga, and the seismic strengthening of Wellington District Court.

Last month, the Government confirmed it will fund a new Tauranga courthouse. The new building will have several courtrooms, which will be bigger in size, allowing for trials with large numbers of defendants to take place.

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