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Manukau District Court to be extended and improved

Manukau District Court to be extended and improved

Manukau District Court will be extended and improved as part of a wider programme to ensure the Ministry of Justice's front-line services are well equipped for the future, Minister for Courts Georgina te Heuheu announced today.

"Recent justice sector initiatives are allowing better use of existing resources and reducing the need to invest so much in properties in the region," Mrs te Heuheu says.

"However, strong population growth in the area means Manukau District Court is projected to have a critical shortage of courtroom and hearing room capacity, making an investment in additional building space for the area a must."

"Manukau District Court is one of the busiest courthouses in the country. It serves New Zealand's youngest and fastest growing population, which is expected to grow by around 38% over the next 20 years."

"The redevelopment of the Courthouse is designed to enhance the efficiency and safety of this significant and important area for justice services in the South Auckland community," Mrs te Heuheu says.

"The new building programme will create additional court and hearing rooms to help reduce future waiting times," Mrs te Heuheu says.

"It will also improve existing facilities to support more efficient processes and provide safer environments for witnesses, jurors, members of the public and Ministry employees."

Background information

Manukau District Court is part of a wider justice precinct in the immediate area, which includes Corrections' Community Probation Services area office and the Manukau Police station, which is the main Police station and District Headquarters for South Auckland.

Over the last twelve months the Manukau District Court had:

* the highest number of new criminal cases in the country;

* the highest number of Civil jurisdiction applications in the country;

* the second highest number of Youth Court and Family Court cases in the country; and
* the highest number of in-person fines enquiries and fines payments in the country.

A budget of $40.6m has been approved by Cabinet for the proposed extension and improvements at the Manukau District Courthouse. Design work is underway and construction is expected to begin in late 2012 with completion expected in 2014.

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