Courts begin sittings at The Precinct

All Christchurch-based courts and tribunals are now operating from the Justice and Emergency Services Precinct, bringing all the Ministry of Justice’s services in the city together for the first time, says a media release from the Ministry.

“Over Canterbury Anniversary weekend we completed the move of the city’s courts to our new location on Lichfield Street,” the Ministry’s Chief Operating Officer Carl Crafar said.

Since the February 22, 2011, earthquake, our people have worked out of 22 temporary locations across the city. Now, almost seven years on, to have all our Christchurch-based teams working together under one roof is a significant milestone for our operations in the city as well as the wider rebuild.

“I want to thank and acknowledge the patience of all our people and leaders, the judiciary and our sector partners during this period. Their resilience and ability to adapt to what have sometimes been very trying circumstances has been a testament to their commitment to justice. Without their support and co-operation, we would not have been able to do this,” he said.

“This final move of more than 200 staff and judicial officers sees them join those who have been based at the Precinct since mid-October.”

Mr Crafar said that in the past month, the Ministry had held some tribunal and court hearings at the Precinct – including High Court (Civil), Coroner’s Court and the Environment Court.

“The Precinct is now the only location in Christchurch to access justice services, including the Public Defence Service. To mark this move, ceremonial final sittings of the High, District, and Family Courts have taken place in the old Durham Street North Court House and the historic Magistrate’s Court building.”

The Justice and Emergency Services Precinct brings together regional justice and emergency services in one facility. While it will not be fully operation until early 2018, Corrections, St John and Fire and Emergency New Zealand will start moving into the Precinct in the coming weeks. Police are intending to begin their move to the facility in the New Year. The Canterbury Regional Emergency Management Office already has some staff working from the Precinct.

The Ministry of Justice services at the Precinct can be accessed from the Lichfield Street and Tuam Street entrances to the Justice Building. Opening hours are Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm.

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