Manukau Court’s $51m court upgrade completeJustice Courts
Justice Minister Amy Adams today opened the upgraded Manukau District Courthouse after a $51 million makeover that future-proofs one of the country’s busiest courthouses.
The Manukau District Court receives about 11 per cent of the country’s criminal cases and around 8 per cent of family cases each year. The courthouse also serves New Zealand’s youngest and fastest growing civic population.
The Court upgrade includes four new jury trial courtrooms, extra hearing rooms, holding cells and improved judges’ facilities.
“This project represents one of the Government’s largest court investments to date. It has been redesigned to handle an increase in business stemming from a forecast rapid population growth in the region over the next 20 years,” says Ms Adams.
One of the new courtrooms has been fitted with state-of-the-art secure witness technology, enabling evidence to be presented via video-link from inside the building into the court room, but with the witness being protected from direct contact with the defendant.
“We want to ensure our justice system is focussed on the needs of victims and this upgrade will allow victims to give evidence in a more comfortable way.
“The Government is committed to ensuring New Zealanders have access to quality court services, wherever they live and this court certainly delivers on that promise,” Ms Adams says.
Other features of the upgraded Manukau District Court include:
- Courtrooms, hearing rooms and other facilities in the existing building have been reconfigured, and five additional judge’s chambers added.
- An additional floor has been created to accommodate future Court expansion.
- A redeveloped Customer Service Centre that can handle queries for all Court jurisdictions, which replaces the previous setup where customers had to visit a different counter depending on jurisdiction.
- A newly developed custody courtroom where matters involving defendants who are in the custody of Corrections can have their matter heard via Audio Visual Link.
- Manukau is the pilot court for a number of new initiatives aimed at reducing delays for court users through increased inter-agency liaison. This includes Double Session Sentencing and trialling new processes for Department of Corrections’ reports and Warrants to Arrest.