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Precinct paves way for greater collaboration

Hon Judith Collins
Minister of Justice

17 October 2013

Precinct paves way for greater collaboration

Justice Minister Judith Collins today announced the Australasian consortium of Warren and Mahoney, Cox and Opus Architecture as lead architect on Christchurch’s Justice and Emergency Services Precinct.

“The precinct is the largest multi-agency government project in New Zealand’s history,” Ms Collins says.

The precinct will be home to the Ministry of Justice, New Zealand Police, Department of Corrections, New Zealand Fire Service, St John and the civil defence and emergency management functions of the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management, the Christchurch City Council and Environment Canterbury. It will house 19 courtrooms for hearings of the High Court, District Court, Māori Land Court, Employment Court, Environment Court and Youth Court.

“The justice sector is already leading the way in terms of working more closely together to deliver better public services for the people of New Zealand. We’re seeing great results in terms of agencies working together to reduce crime and reoffending. Recorded crime is now at a 33 year low,” Ms Collins says.

“Having these agencies in one place will enable sharing of building services, information technology infrastructure and support services, custodial space and meeting and training facilities.”

Ms Collins says care has been taken in the design to preserve the constitutional separation between the judiciary and executive agencies.

A key feature of the precinct will be its centre for the emergency management of local, regional and national incidents. It will be modelled on international best practice and can be expanded into shared facilities within the precinct if there is a major incident.

Another key feature will be the lane separating the precinct between Lichfield and Tuam Street that will be formally named the Justice Sir Robert Chambers Lane, in honour of Sir Robert Chambers who passed away in May this year.

“Sir Robert was a Supreme Court Judge who was respected as one of the most powerful intellects in the New Zealand legal system,” Ms Collins says.

Ms Collins also announced Resource Co-ordination Partnership Limited has been appointed as the project manager, and Rider Levett Bucknall as the quantity surveyor. Opus has been appointed as the building services engineer and Holmes Consulting Group has been appointed as the structural engineer, assisted by Tonkin & Taylor.

The Ministry of Justice expects to appoint the main contractor to lead the construction of the precinct early next year and earthworks and ground improvement will begin by February. Construction of the main building is planned to begin in June next year and Ministry of Justice staff and the judiciary will start working from the precinct in December 2016. The precinct will be fully operational in mid-2017 when the emergency services building will be completed.

For concept design of the Justice and Emergency Services Precinct see http://justice.govt.nz/justice-sector/christchurch-precinct/justice-and-emergency-services

ENDS

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