Judith Collins defends lane name

JUDITH COLLINS: Justice Minister
JUDITH COLLINS: Justice Minister

Justice Minister Judith Collins has defended naming a lane in Christchurch's new justice precinct after a friend, saying it was a fitting way for his legacy to be honoured.

Collins has been criticised by some Christchurch lawyers for naming a lane outside Christchurch's justice and emergency services precinct after the late Sir Robert Chambers.

Chambers, who died last year, served alongside Collins on the Auckland District Law Society Council and had been appointed to the Supreme Court in 2011. ritics said Collins should have considered naming the lane after someone with links to the city or Canterbury, as Chambers had never sat in Christchurch.

Collins said it was important to remember Chambers' "significant contribution" to New Zealand's justice system.

"Sir Robert was a Supreme Court Judge who was respected as one of the most powerful intellects in the New Zealand legal system and it is fitting for his legacy to be honoured," she said.

"Lady Chambers attended the launch of the plans for the precinct and is very appreciative that her late husband's legacy is to be remembered in this way."


Proposed street names are submitted to Christchurch City Council subdivision officer Bob Pritchard before going to the local community board for approval.

Existing street names should not be used, a short street cannot have a long name that can't fit on a map, and a common theme is recommended for streets in a subdivision. 

Streets can only be named after people with a historical connection to the area, well-known local identities or prominent New Zealanders.

Christchurch City Council resource consents manager John Higgins said the justice precinct lane did not have to go through the council's naming process because it was not a legal road or right of way serving at least five properties. 

"This is not a unique situation. For example, airport roads are private roads and do not need to go through the council road naming process." 

If the new lane was a legal road or right of way, the suggested name would have to be submitted to the council by the land owner or developer, Higgins said.

It would then be checked to avoid duplication and a report would be prepared and forwarded to the appropriate community board for approval.

Higgins said the council had a 14-point policy on naming roads and rights of way, which set out how road names were evaluated and accepted.

The Press