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Opening of Queenstown Courthouse

Hon Rick Barker
Minister for Courts

9 November 2006
Media Release
Opening of Queenstown Courthouse

Courts Minister Rick Barker officially opened the new Queenstown Courthouse today, saying the new court would provide the Queenstown community with enhanced justice services.

"The old courthouse was built 130 years ago and no longer meets the needs of the fast growing Queenstown region. It is simply too small to deliver justice services in the twenty-first century.

"Because of its size, the old courthouse could only handle Criminal Summary and Youth Court work. This new courthouse is eight times bigger than its predecessor, and means that the people of Queenstown will no longer need to travel to Alexandra for Family and Civil court cases.

"The new court will also house Disputes and Tenancy Tribunal services, the Environment Court, and have a specialist Collections team to improve the collection of fines and reparation owed to victims.

"The court has been built ahead of schedule and under budget, and full credit needs to be given to those involved in its delivery.

"A special mention also needs to be given to Ngai Tahu. Without their support by making this site available we wouldn't be here today.

"After years of neglect it is great to see our courts bouncing back.

"Today's opening forms part of what has become the largest court building programme in recent history. Since 1999 five new courthouses have been completed and five more are being built at the moment. As well as this we have completed 27 major courthouse refurbishments, with nine more planned or underway.

"The new Queenstown Courthouse is also evidence of the Labour led government's investment in cutting edge technology to improve the court experience.

"It is great to be here and see first hand the results of our approach. We are delivering a first class service that supports families young and old, now and into the future", said Rick Barker.

---

Rick Barker's speech can be found at www.beehive.govt.nz/barker

ENDS

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