A business case to strengthen Dunedin's old courthouse is likely to have to go through Cabinet.
The historic stone courthouse in Stuart Street was closed fully for earthquake-strengthening a month ago, having been partially closed since December 2011 because of the standard of the building's main tower.
Minister for Courts Amy Adams visited the courthouse today and said she realised getting the building reopened was a critical issue for the city.
She said the cost estimates she had seen were well above $10 million so it was likely she would need to ask for more money.
"We've gone back and asked for a business case to be developed around the options for the courthouse, what strengthening might look like, what sort of standard we need to get it to, what the options are to doing that and then a business case will have to go up to Cabinet for the funding of that."
Ms Adams said it was her intention to strengthen and reopen the building, but no decision had been made.