Progress on courthouse decision


Engineers met last week to discuss the future of the Oamaru District Courthouse building and whether it could be earthquake strengthened and reopened for hearings.

In October last year, Minister for Courts Chester Borrows said the Oamaru courthouse would cost more than $5 million to earthquake strengthen, an announcement that was met with surprise and reservation by Waitaki District Council.

After some debate in Oamaru, the Ministry of Justice has been undertaking further investigative work of the building to determine the structural strengthening approach required.

Engineers, architects, and representatives of the Historic Places Trust and the Ministry of Justice have been involved in assessments of the 130-year-old building.

Minister for Courts Chester Borrows said he was “very aware” that many people in Oamaru wanted a final answer.

Yesterday, a Ministry of Justice spokesman said a meeting was held early last week to discuss the difference in approaches. He said there appeared to be a lot of common ground and they were a lot closer on a consensus view.


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