Thousands of Cantabrians turn up for tour of $300m justice precinct

by Paolo Taruc22 Sep 2017
Cantabrians turned out in droves last Sunday to get a glimpse of Christchurch’s new Justice and Emergency Services Precinct. Some 14,000 people toured the facility, with the queue occupying both sides of Lichfield St., according to estimates from the Ministry of Justice.

According to ministry Chief Executive Andrew Bridgman, it was important for the government to give Cantabrians the chance to see the $300m facility before some areas become restricted once operations begin. “For most of our visitors it was the first – and last – time they will be in a courtroom or a cell.”

Prime Minister Bill English opened the precinct last week, but agencies will begin moving in next month, according to the New Zealand Law Society. The first public services will be provided by mid-October.

The Law Society said the Police Dog Unit was the most popular among visitors. Others were also interested to see the District Courtrooms and learn about how the court and justice system works, before continuing the tour route through to the Emergency Operations Centre.

The $300m project is the first of its kind in New Zealand and is an anchor development of Christchurch’s rebuilding program. It is the largest multi-agency co-location project in the country. Every day, around 2,000 people are expected to use the 42,000sqm precinct.

Related stories:
Minters helps open Christchurch justice precinct
Dunedin on track to reopen historic court building