Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean has a "strong hunch" the re-assessed costs to repair Oamaru District Court will be good enough for the Minister of Courts to have the building restored for full use.
After some "debate" in Oamaru, the Ministry of Justice is currently undertaking further investigative work of the district court building to determine the required structural strengthening approach, a ministry spokesman said.
Engineers, architects, and representatives from the Historic Places Trust and the Ministry of Justice started assessments on the building yesterday.
A revised estimate of the likely cost of having the building restored for full use would take some time, the spokesman said.
Mrs Dean said the recent Ministry of Justice estimates of up to $6 million to strengthen the courthouse caused great harm and concern in the community.
She was not convinced of the accuracy of the original figure for the work.
Mrs Dean said she had a "strong hunch" that Minister of Courts Chester Borrows would find the re-assessed price for repair financially viable.
"I'm pretty sure our court services will be delivered from the Oamaru Courthouse again," she said.
"Anything else and I will be disappointed."
Mrs Dean said she would be working closely with Mr Borrows on the future of the Oamaru Courthouse.
"Make no mistake - if Chester Borrows fails to sleep at night it's because he's thinking about me, the Oamaru legal community and the Oamaru Courthouse," she said.
Waitaki District Council chief executive officer Michael Ross said he was delighted to hear that the Ministry of Justice was undertaking further investigative work.
"We're hoping for a positive outcome," Mr Ross said.
The Oamaru Courthouse, along with five other courts, was closed for earthquake strengthening work after an engineering report at the end of last year found it was at risk of collapse in the event of an earthquake.
The Ministry of Justice then announced that Oamaru would retain the functions of a hearing court, but administration services would be shifted to Timaru.
It also signalled an intention to work with the Waitaki District Council, local architects and experts in Oamaru stone, to assess the long-term options for the courthouse before making a final decision early next year.