Cantabrians will soon have access to some of the most modern and efficient justice and emergency services in the country with Christchurch’s Justice and Emergency Services Precinct nearing completion.
Yesterday (Thursday July 27) the Precinct buildings were blessed by Ngai Tūāhuriri at a ceremony attended by community representatives, government ministers and representatives from all the tenant government agencies, including Ministry of Justice Chief Executive Andrew Bridgman.
As part of the ceremony, Mr Bridgman recognised the significant amount of work that has gone into the project to date and thanked local iwi for their input into the project.
"I want to acknowledge and thank the tangata whenua Ngāi Tuāhuriri through their representative group Matapopore," he said.
"Their engagement on this project can be seen throughout some of the design features of this facility and I hope this relationship will continue in the future".
The blessing - which was attended by 100 guests - marked the next step towards the project's completion.
Justice Minister Amy Adams says the new Precinct will bring justice and emergency services together under one roof in the heart of the city.
“Fit-out of the Justice Building is progressing well and is on track. Fit-out of the public coffee outlet in the Customer Service Centre is also nearly complete," says Justice Minister Amy Adams.
“In the Emergency Services Building, fit-out of the Emergency Operations Centre is now underway. When complete, the purpose-designed centre will provide emergency response capability for local and regional incidents," she said.
The mauri stone, which was gifted by Ngāti Waewae, a Ngāi Tahu hapū from Hokitika to the eight agencies which will be housed in the precinct, was also blessed at yesterday's ceremony.
The 90 kilogram pounamu been named 'E Toru Ngā Mea,' after the waiata of that name which refers to the three principles of Whakapono, Tūmanako and Aroha – faith, hope and love.
The waiata notes that the greatest of these principles is aroha, which can also mean caring, sharing and supporting people, so is aptly named for the agencies who will be tenants in the precinct.
The official opening of the Precinct will take place in August followed by a public open day.