The $20 million project to strengthen and refurbish the Dunedin Law Courts has been completed, with the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, officially reopening the courthouse in a ceremony on Friday morning.
The Prime Minister, Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias, and Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull all spoke at the event, noting the passion and support of many to see this magnificent building back in action after a nearly seven-year closure.
Following the official ceremony, the Prime Minister joined Ministry of Justice Chief Executive, Andrew Bridgman, members of the judiciary and media for a tour of the courthouse.
Dunedin courts and tribunals have been operating out of temporary facilities in High Street for several years after the Law Courts building was closed due to earthquake risk in 2011.
The Ministry began the extensive strengthening and refurbishment project, which was completed by local Dunedin company ABL, in December 2016.
More than 475 cubic metres of concrete and 66 tonnes of reinforcing steel were used throughout the project, and restoring the 66 leadlight windows alone took a year of painstaking work.
‘While the building has been carefully strengthened, and refurbished, it now beats with a new and strong heart,’ said the Prime Minister during the ceremony.
Around 50 kilometres of modern data cabling now runs through the building and modern audio-visual equipment has been installed in the courtrooms.
“This has been a significant project and involved a lot of people and I’d like to thank everyone involved in restoring this grand old lady,” says Chief Executive Andrew Bridgman.
All Dunedin courts and tribunals have returned to the Dunedin Law Courts building from Wednesday 7 February.
The entrance is on Dunbar Street. Opening hours are Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm.
If you have any questions on where you need to go, please call us on 0800 COURTS (0800 268 787).