Wellington High Court to reopen after quake damage repairs

by NZ Lawyer27 Jan 2017
The High Court building of Wellington will reopen on 1 February, less than three months after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck off Kaikoura, Canterbury. The tremor’s epicentre was about 200km southwest of Wellington. 

The building suffered water and related damage from sprinklers and burst pipes. But engineers found that the two structures that make up the complex remained structurally sound. 

Court staff, judiciary and their support staff began moving back to the Molesworth Street complex from 24 January, the Ministry of Justice said. However, the Law Society library based in the High Court will remain closed while further refurbishment work is undertaken.

“We have the experience of Christchurch to draw on and it is a credit to everyone involved that we are in a position to move back to the High Court building as planned for the start of the year,” said Chief High Court Judge Geoffrey John Venning.

While the High Court building was closed, the High Court registry was based in the Wellington District Court, while fixtures were held at other court buildings in the city.

Related stories:
Three new bills for earthquake recovery
Lawyers urged to be familiar with new earthquake-prone buildings requirements