Court upgrade progressing

SHARE

The Ministry of Justice has announced upgrades to Oamaru’s prefabricated court facility are due to be completed in March.

The portacom building, located in the Brydone Hotel car park on Humber St, was opened on August 7.

Dissatisfaction from the community due to lack of space led the ministry to investigate upgrade options.

Ministry of Justice Commercial and Property general manager Fraser Gibbs said a new portacom interview room was under construction and the consent process was progressing with the Waitaki District Council.

“In the meantime, the site is being prepared for this addition and we expect work to be completed in March.”

The ministry announced in December it was investigating increasing the number of interview rooms and the amount of public waiting space as well as improvements to the custodial area and courtroom layout.

Oamaru’s courthouse was closed in 2011 due to earthquake risk and for two years court services were administered from the Oamaru Opera House.

The old courthouse was transferred to Land Information New Zealand for management and disposal on June 23, 2014, following an announcement by the Ministry in May saying the cost of strengthening the building would be too expensive for the ministry to justify.

By Ruby Harfield