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Facilitating Justice

Mainzeal Property and Construction has been appointed as the main contractor to undertake the Court’s redevelopment. The building is part of a wider justice precinct, which includes the Corrections’ Community Probation Services area office and the Counties Manukau Police station.

With a budget of $40.6 million, the project represents one of the largest investments the District Court network has made in the last decade, improving and expanding much needed Auckland facilities. “One third of the demand for court services nationally is from within the greater Auckland region and projections point to both population growth and changing need for court services,” said Justice Minister Judith Collins. The Court serves the country’s youngest and fastest growing population, one which is also expected to grow in size and demand by around 38% in 20 years, bringing a critical shortage of courtroom and hearing room capacity. Therefore, an investment now in creating more building space is imperative.

The redevelopment will include a new four-storey extension as well as extensive alterations and a complete refurbishment of the existing court building including a new roof. When complete, the redevelopment will house four new jury trial courtrooms with provision for future expansion, in addition to new judicial chambers.

The redevelopment is key to improving both the physical infrastructure and how court services are delivered, alongside changes to how family and civil cases are managed. Additional court and hearing rooms will help to reduce waiting times and support more efficient processes. Safety will also be enhanced for staff and court users: appropriate separation of court users will go a long way towards minimising intimidation and discomfort. Jury trial courtrooms will have more seating space so potential jurors will no longer have to wait outside the courtroom during the empanelling process. Better protection facilities are also planned for vulnerable witnesses, as are larger, improved workspaces and segregation routes for staff and judicial officers.

RDT Pacific has managed the project through the briefing, consultant procurement (Architectus, Aureon and Rider Levett Bucknall), design and tendering phases, with construction now underway. Mike Hanson, Associate Director and Project Manager for the project comments that “despite a major re-briefing exercise we have ensured that the project remains on programme and within scope and importantly aligned with the objectives of the business case”.

Work began on site in late November and completion is expected by March 2014, with all planned dates met so far. Construction will be carefully undertaken in stages, as the court will continue to sit during the project’s duration.

One third of the demand for court services nationally is from within the greater Auckland region and projections point to both population growth and changing need for court services.”
– Judith Collins, Minister of Justice