20 Jun 2015

Closure of Dunedin courthouse 'premature'

7:37 pm on 20 June 2015

Criminal lawyers are calling on the Government to reopen the historic Dunedin courthouse until earthquake-strengthening work gets fully underway.

The historic Dunedin courthouse.

The historic Dunedin courthouse. Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer

Court hearings were shifted last month to a temporary facility so the building's quake-prone tower could be fixed, but a business case to strengthen it was still being developed.

The Criminal Bar Association has written to the Court Minister Amy Adams, saying it was premature to shift everything and the safe part of the building should be reopened.

Its vice-President Len Andersen said the temporary facility was cramped and inadequate, and inappropriately mixed family and criminal cases.

The Minister said she was yet to receive the letter.

sign saying the Dunedin courthouse is temporarily closed

Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer