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Site set for temporary courthouse

DANIEL BIRCHFIELD AND JACQUIE WEB
Last updated 05:00 15/03/2014

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A site for Oamaru's new temporary courthouse has been chosen.

Courts Minister Chester Borrows said the temporary portacom courthouse, which also includes holding cells, was used in Christchurch after the February 2011 earthquakes.

It will be located at the Oamaru Licensing Trust's (OLT) car park behind the Brydone Hotel in Humber St.

"This was not the first site they [the Ministry of Justice] contemplated and the new site has required some changes to the building plans, which have also been completed," Mr Borrows said.

The ministry would be lodging resource consent applications with the Waitaki District Council later this month, he said.

"I will next be in a position to update the people of Oamaru on progress once the resource consent process is completed. The legal maximum time for this is 20 working days, although I remain hopeful that the very constructive way that the council and wider Oamaru community have worked with the ministry will enable it to be completed before that time."

Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean said she was encouraged to see progress being made in finding a new home for court services in Oamaru.

"I'm very pleased to see an interim solution for Oamaru is getting closer. I think the siting of the temporary courthouse is the best place I can think of."

She said the location was central, had ideal car parking facilities and was secure.

"It's one part of the problem solved and the other problem is getting the historical courthouse up and running again and I know Minister Borrows is working hard to achieve that."

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said he was delighted that courts services were being relocated and that the Humber St site was ideal.

"It's great to have it [the court] out of the opera house because it was impacting too much on the day to day business there. It made it very difficult for other things going on there.

"The ministry were looking at the Eden St car park and it wasn't ideal. We asked the ministry to go back and have a look at a couple of other sites and the OLT offered their site.."

He said he would like to see services return to Oamaru's historic courthouse in the future.

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- The Timaru Herald

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