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Extra Funding Required For Court Restoration

Extra Funding Required For Court Restoration

The cost of restoring the historic 19th century High Court building in Stout St has proved to be greater than initially expected. “This is a key reason why additional funding is required for this part of the project and to build the new Supreme Court,” Courts Minister Rick Barker said today.

“To meet increased costs, additional funding of up to $12.050m has been provided for by the Government.

“When the design concepts were approved in September 2006 the estimated cost of restoring the old High Court building and building the new Supreme Court was $65.1m.   This was based on a high level design concept, and it was anticipated that estimates would have to be looked at again once work was underway.  

“When restoration began on the old High Court building, which had not been used since 1993, it required far more work than expected, primarily due to water damage to the roof timbers, plaster features and brickwork. Asbestos was also discovered as more of the building fabric was exposed. The increased amount of restoration required had added just over $6m to the 2006 estimate.

“We knew that commencing work on restoration might uncover areas where more work was required and that this could not be precisely determined until work was started. Restoring a heritage building of this type and of this age is always a difficult task and the work must be completed to the highest standards.

“Other challenges have been escalating material costs because of international demand and the tight construction market in Wellington pushing up labour and contractor costs.  For example the price of structural steel has risen by 56% since 2006 and there has been a 31% increase in labour rates over the same period.

“Work on the restoration, and the new building began in late 2007 and is expected to be completed as scheduled in late 2009 in time for the first sitting in the new Court in early 2010.”


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