Dunedin District Court to open for jury trials at High St
Hon Chester Borrows
Minister for Courts
21 August 2013
Dunedin District Court to open for jury trials at High Street site
Courts Minister Chester Borrows has welcomed the return of jury trials to Dunedin with the temporary Dunedin Court complex in High Street set to open on Monday.
Parts of the Dunedin Courthouse were closed in December 2011 after a seismic assessment raised concerns about the building’s safety. Since the closure, jury trials have been held in Invercargill, while some court services operated out of John Wickliffe House and the former CIB building in Dunbar St.
“It’s really good for the legal community to have jury trials back in Dunedin. It has been a tough time, especially for those having to travel to Invercargill for jury trails,” says Mr Borrows.
“I appreciate how all court users handled these disruptions to keep court services running as well as they have.
“I want to acknowledge the support from our staff, the judiciary, local government, lawyers, Police and Corrections staff and other court users for their patience and support over this time.”
Further work to the temporary High Street site will see list and youth courts join jury trials by mid 2014 to allow for strengthening work on the main Stuart Street courthouse.
“We are committed to Dunedin, and returning full services to the historic Dunedin Courthouse is a priority for the Ministry. While it has taken some time to get to this point, it has been important to ensure we can make the building safe without damaging its historic value,” Mr Borrows says.
It is expected that the repairs to the category one heritage building in Stuart Street will take about two years to complete. The tender for earthquake-strengthening work is due out later this year.