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First sod turned on new Christchurch precinct

Justice Minister Judith Collins, alongside Prime Minister John Key, today turned the first ground on the Christchurch Justice and Emergency Services Precinct.

“It’s fantastic to see the largest multi-agency government project in New Zealand’s history kick-off in Christchurch with the appropriate ground improvement work,” Ms Collins says.

“This initial stage will see more than 20,000 cubic metres of soil excavated –equivalent to eight Olympic size swimming pools – mixed with 2,500 tonnes of cement and placed back in the ground to support a heavy duty 1.2 metre thick concrete base.

“It’s essential to create solid foundations that will not be subject to liquefaction and ensure the building stands strong well into the future.”

Once completed, the Precinct will be the regional headquarters for the Ministry of Justice, New Zealand Police, Department of Corrections, New Zealand Fire Service, and St John. It will also house civil defence and emergency management teams of the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management, Christchurch City Council and Environment Canterbury.

It will house approximately 1,100 workers, accommodate 900 visitors every weekday, and incorporate modern systems like audio visual links, sophisticated security monitoring and a purpose-designed Emergency Operations Centre.

Ms Collins says the Precinct is yet another example how improved cross-agency collaboration will help to deliver this Government’s commitment to better public services.

“The justice sector is already leading the way working more closely together to deliver better public services for New Zealanders. We’re seeing great results in terms of reduced crime and reoffending with recorded crime now at a 33 year low.”

Ms Collins also announced that Downer has been appointed to complete the ground improvement work, in preparation for the start of construction midyear. The Precinct should be fully operational in mid-2017.

Animated 3D flyover and flythrough of the precinct.

ENDS

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