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Ruatoria Courthouse Razed In Fire

24 July 2002

Ruatoria Courthouse Razed In Fire

The almost completed new Ruatoria courthouse and Heartland Services Centre was burnt to the ground last night by fire, Courts Minister Matt Robson says.

“Details are sketchy at this point, so we do not yet know if the fire was deliberately lit,” says Matt Robson.

“This is a huge blow to the local community, which has been involved at every stage of the project and was looking forward to the official opening in August.

“Courts department officials will be working with fire and police personnel to ascertain the cause of the fire.

“I will be travelling to Gisborne and Ruatoria today to speak with community leaders and court officials,” says Matt Robson.

“We need to work out where to go from here with the project. My preference is to re-build as soon as possible. This community has waited a long time for its own courthouse again.”

The former courthouse, which the new facility was to replace, was burnt down in 1978. The new courthouse cost $700,000 to build.

Ends

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