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Budget 2007: Supreme Court addition to NZ heritage

Joint Statement
Justice, Courts

Supreme Court addition to our heritage

A significant commitment to strengthening New Zealand's cultural heritage is made in Budget 2007 with funding secured for the new Supreme Court building in Wellington.

"The legal importance of the Supreme Court, and the major policy change that saw our highest court established in New Zealand instead of being based overseas is recognised by the establishment of permanent facilities. This will involve the restoration of the old 1881 High Court building and the construction of a new building in a contemporary style,” Courts Minister Rick Barker said.

Budget 2007 provides $45.9 million of capital funding over 2007/08 and 2008/09 for the new Supreme Court building to be purpose-built in Wellington. $19.3 million was previously allocated in Budget 2003 to renovate the old High Court. In addition, operating funding of $10.5 million over four years, set aside in Budget 2006, has also been allocated.

“Buildings such as the old Government building and Parliament buildings give all of us something to identify as our own, and so too will the Supreme Court building. It will be a significant addition to Wellington’s, and New Zealand’s, public buildings and a heritage site for the future," Rick Barker said.

A large proportion of the total cost ($25.3 million) will be spent on restoring the old High Court building, which will include base isolation for seismic protection.

Justice Minister Mark Burton said that having our court of final appeal in New Zealand since 2004 has improved access to justice. "The Supreme Court is now well established and is a very important part of the New Zealand justice system. Already, the Court has heard more criminal appeals than the Privy Council has in the entire time that it has been used by New Zealand appellants."

Wellington City Council has voted in favour to build the new Supreme Court at Justice Park and restore the old High Court Building and work is scheduled to begin on site in June.

ENDS

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