Christchurch Justice and Emergency Services Precinct taking shape

  • Amy Adams

Christchurch’s largest multi-agency project, the Justice and Emergency Services Precinct, is now 12 months away from completion, and reflects the Government’s ongoing commitment to the rebuild, says Justice and Courts Minister Amy Adams.

“This $300 million investment is unique because for the first time, all essential regional justice and emergency services will be brought together under one roof, encouraging a more collaborative approach to delivering services and responding to emergencies.”

The first sod was turned by the Prime Minister in January 2014, beginning the excavation of 20,000 cubic metres of soil – equivalent to eight Olympic size swimming pools.

Fifteen months on, the major steel framework for the Precinct is largely in place and the windows, roof, and exterior cladding are being installed.

“As a Cantabrian, I know that seeing the Precinct rise from the ground has been heartening both for locals and those looking for new life to be breathed into the CBD. The construction of the Precinct has been an uplifting sight on the Christchurch skyline.

“Practically, it will deliver high-quality services for the hundreds of people who will visit each day, but also has the structural strength to withstand seismic events so these essential services can continue to operate during regional or national emergencies.”

Expected to be in use by mid-2017, the Precinct will be the first major government building to be completed in central Christchurch since the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes.

The Precinct will house the Ministry of Justice, New Zealand Police, Department of Corrections, New Zealand Fire Service, St John New Zealand, the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management, the Canterbury Civil Defence and Emergency Management Group, and the Christchurch City Council Civil Defence and Emergency Management. The judiciary will also be housed in the Precinct in a way that recognises and ensures its constitutional independence.

Notes to editor:

  • The CJESP consists of three buildings; a justice building, an emergency services building and a car park for operational vehicles
  • 19 courtrooms encompassing the High Court, District Court,  Family Court, Youth Court, Māori Land Court, Environment Court and other specialist jurisdictions
  • South Island 111 emergency services (NZ Fire Service, Police and St John), along with Civil Defence and Emergency Management agencies for Christchurch and Canterbury, are located adjacent to the Emergency Operations Centre for seamless collaboration
  • The precinct has an advanced approach to seismic design – with base isolation and built to an Importance Level 4 standard
  • The Emergency Operations Centre will have its own power, water, and waste disposal for at least 72 hours, for resilience in any future emergency