Recent refurbishments and upgrades to the Waitakere District Court will improve facilities and justice services for the people of Waitakere, Court Minister Amy Adams says.
She says the 20-year-old Waitakere courthouse had been "badly in need of attention" to both improve both the presentation of the building and to ensure the availability of quality court services.
"The $3.8 million upgrade includes video-conferencing (AVL) facilities, a new one-stop-shop court counter, court security enhancements, additional facilities for judges, lawyers and Police, and general refurbishments," Ms Adams says.
Now that the Court is part of New Zealand's AVL network, prisoners and defendants who are remanded in custody will be able to appear in court without leaving prison, which increases safety and security for court users, Ms Adams says.
The Family and Civil, and Criminal counter services have been grouped together into one single service staffed by a team trained to handle enquiries for all jurisdictions.
"This approach has proven successful in other courts we've upgraded, including the Manukau District Court, and means people wanting to access these services will now only need to visit one place, whatever their enquiry," says Ms Adams.
The main features of the upgraded Waitakere District Court are:
- AVL in one courtroom
- The creation of a one-stop-shop court counter service for enquiries for all jurisdictions
- Refurbishments to all courtrooms, registry areas, and public facilities
- An enhanced security access way for people entering the building
- Secure custody access to Courtroom Four
- A new police room and two extra cells, including an 'at risk' cell
- Two additional judges' chambers
- New rooms for Community Magistrates and Justice of the Peace