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Christchurch Justice and Emergency Services Precinct

The Christchurch Justice and Emergency Services Precinct is one of the anchor projects defined by the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Agency (CERA) in the city’s recovery plan.

Sod turning

"This precinct is a significant investment in the Christchurch rebuild and by housing all the justice sector agencies and the city's civil defence and emergency management functions in one location it also shows how public sector agencies can work more closely together." Prime Minister John Key

The Christchurch Justice and Emergency Services Precinct is one of the anchor projects of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Agency's (CERA) city Recovery Plan. It is also the first major public building to be built in Christchurch by the government since the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. Its location will play a critical role in defining the southern edge of a more compact and vibrant city centre.

The precinct will house in one purpose built, world-class complex, the Ministry of Justice; New Zealand Police; Department of Corrections; New Zealand Fire Service; St John New Zealand; and civil defence and emergency management functions of the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management, the Christchurch City Council and Environment Canterbury. The judiciary will also be housed in the precinct, in a way that recognises and ensures its constitutional independence.

The precinct will be the largest multi-agency government project in New Zealand's history. It is an opportunity to return justice and emergency services in Christchurch not just to their pre-earthquake state, but to a position where they can provide better public services through innovation and new ways of collaborating. Shared communications and emergency operations centres will make, co-ordinated responses to emergencies easier to achieve.

When fully operational, the precinct will house approximately 1,100 workers and accommodate 900 visitors every weekday.

As one of the anchor projects of the Christchurch Recovery Strategy, the precinct will help to restore confidence in Christchurch as a vibrant city of which its people can be proud. This is an important and exciting initiative for the people of Christchurch, and for all New Zealanders.

A significant milestone was achieved on 17 October 2013, with the unveiling of the Christchurch Justice and Emergency Services Precinct designs and announcement of the lead architect, project manager, quantity surveyor, building services and structural engineer. Ground improvement works are scheduled to start in February and construction in June 2014. You can view how the interior and exterior may look with our 3D animation.

More information is available in the factsheet.

What is happening now?

The Ministry of Justice, as the lead agency, has been tasked with finalising plans for the design, build and operation of the precinct, including the sequencing of construction and working with precinct tenants in this process. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2014.

As a result of the recent requests for tenders, the following businesses have been appointed to manage key aspects of the precincts construction.

Architecture consortium led by Warren and Mahoney, with Cox and Opus Architecture
Quantity Surveyor Rider Levett Bucknall
Structural, civil and geotechnical engineering Holmes Consulting Group
Project and design manager Resource Co-ordination partnership Limited (RCP)
Building services engineer Opus International Consultants
Early ground works contractor - Downer

Up-coming key dates:

  • February 2014 - Earthworks and ground improvement works begin
  • May/June 2014 - Appointment of main contractor to lead the construction of the precinct
  • Mid 2014 - Construction begins
  • Late 2016 - Justice employees and judiciary begin to move into the precinct
  • Mid 2017 - Emergency services building completed and precinct fully operational

Construction of the precinct will be completed in three phases:

Stage 1 Ground improvement works
Stage 2 Construction of the Justice building and Construction of the Police and Emergency Services building
Stage 3 Construction of the Police car park.

The Ministry's project team is working closely with CERA to ensure alignment between development of the precinct and CERA's blueprint for the Christchurch CBD.

If you would like to know more about the project, please email:


New Zealand Police, Nga Pirihimana o Aotearoa.


Ministry of Justice, Tahu o te Ture.


Department of Corrections, Ara Poutama Aotearoa.


New Zealand Fire Service, Whakaratonga Iwi.


Civil Defence.


St John, first to care.

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