Work on justice precinct to start next year

19:09, May 22 2013
List Court, Christchurch
BUILDING BLESSED: The Rev Mark Barlow blesses the List Court building in Durham St yesterday. To his left are Timoti Riwaka, Secretary for Justice Andrew Bridgman and Minister of Justice Judith Collins.

Work on Christchurch's new justice and emergency services precinct is expected to begin next year.

Yesterday Minister of Justice Judith Collins announced that plans for the precinct were "charging ahead" and looked on track to open in 2016-17. "We're looking forward to being able to put some diggers there early next year," she said.

The earthquakes revealed that the justice and emergency services achieved "far better results" by working together.

"One of the great things that came out of the series of earthquakes that you've had here is that it has brought about a far closer working relationship between the Ministry of Justice, the New Zealand police, the Department of Corrections and also the judiciary, in terms of what we can do."

She said the cost of the precinct was not yet known as it was subject to tenders.

The precinct will bring together all the emergency services and Department of Courts and the Corrections Department.

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It will be located in the block bounded by Lichfield, Tuam, Durham and Colombo streets. The low-rise buildings would house between 1300 and 1400 workers.

The location was carefully chosen because of its proximity to public transport and would include a large underground car park.

Collins was in Christchurch to celebrate the return of the List Court from the Nga Hau E Wha Marae to the court complex in Durham St.

The Press