PM unveils design of Christchurch Justice PrecinctPrime Minister
Prime Minister John Key today unveiled how the Justice and Emergency Services Precinct to be constructed in central Christchurch will look.
The precinct will cost in the region of $300 million and be the first major public building to be built in Christchurch since the earthquakes in 2010 and 2011. It also forms part of the Government’s blueprint for the central city rebuild.
“We need to remember that this is the worst natural disaster New Zealand has experienced and the fourth largest earthquake insurance event in the world. We are totally committed to the reconstruction of Canterbury and I'm determined to see that momentum is maintained,” says Mr Key.
“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.
“We considered other options including having agencies at separate sites across the city, or at a complex with a single focus on criminal justice. Any of these options would have come at a lower price, but we have opted for the one we think will best deliver services for the people of Canterbury, and that will encourage new and better ways of working between all of the agencies.
“So these agencies are presented with a unique opportunity to deliver on two key Government priorities – Better Public Services and our focus to rebuild Christchurch.”
Earthworks are expected to begin by February next year and construction of the main building is planned to begin in June next year. At the height of construction, 400 people will be employed on the site. The precinct will be completed and open to the public by mid-2017. When fully operational it will have around 1100 people working full-time from the precinct and around 900 visitors every day.
“That’s around 2000 people every day who will use transport services and shop and dine in the inner city, which will help attract retailers and other service providers,” Mr Key says.
The Christchurch Central Recovery Plan has the justice and emergency services precinct playing a critical role in defining the southern edge of a more compact and vibrant city centre.
It will encompass over 40,000 square metres over five floors in the city block bordered by Colombo, Tuam, Durham and Lichfield Streets. This location, to the south of the CBD, was chosen for its direct access to the city’s main arterial roads and its close proximity to hospitals for the emergency services.