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Essential Justice services maintained in Christchurch

Essential Justice services maintained in Christchurch

Courts were continuing to operate in Christchurch as a priority in helping to maintain law and order, and support justice services, Minister for Courts, Georgina te Heuheu said today.

“Today I visited the Ministry of Justice temporary command centre operating from Christchurch Men’s Prison. I was impressed by the way the Corrections Department has welcomed Courts’ temporary location to the prison, and by the way both Corrections and Courts are working with some priority to ensure that Courts’ systems are up and running.

“Arrangements continue in place for essential court matters to be dealt with, despite the Christchurch courts complex being located within the CBD cordon,” said Mrs te Heuheu.

“These include District Court services essential to support law and order including remand appearances at Christchurch Men’s Prison, and arrest matters, including Youth Court arrests, at Rangiora District Court.”

“Even in the wake of Tuesday’s earthquake, the Courts still managed to process 87 arrests and 53 in custody matters,” said Mrs te Heuheu.

Court business continues as usual in Timaru, Ashburton and Rangiora.

Urgent Family Court applications are being dealt with by the Wellington and Dunedin Courts, and all non essential High Court matters set down for this week are adjourned. Until further notice, applications for any High Court matters may be lodged in Wellington.

“I fully appreciate and applaud all the staff that are operating under these temporary conditions, particularly those who have suffered some personal disruption.”

Mrs te Heuheu also visited the temporary mortuary at Burnham Military Camp to view firsthand the work of the coronial services.

“These services are working to support the Chief Coroner, Police and other Government agencies, as well as the military, funeral directors and medical professionals throughout the victim identification process.”

“My visit was both humbling and reassuring. The people involved in this important work, both New Zealanders and those who have come from overseas, are of the highest calibre. They are very experienced, having previously worked together in other significant international disasters, and are truly dedicated to their profession.”

ends

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