22 Dec 2011

Dunedin courthouse partially closed for quake work

5:07 am on 22 December 2011

The Ministry of Justice is closing part of the Dunedin courthouse for earthquake strengthening work.

Three weeks ago, six court buildings - including Rangiora, Oamaru and Balclutha - were abruptly closed for up to a year after the ministry received final advice on the risk of collapse in a major quake.

The ministry says it has now received an engineering assessment on the Dunedin court buildings.

It says the Tower Block and immediate surrounding areas will close for urgent strengthening.

This building houses some administration staff and the judiciary.

The ministry expects to sign leases later this week for an alternative space.

It says most of the historic bluestone courthouse is not affected and three of the five courtrooms will continue as usual.