New Zealand Law Society - Historic Dunedin Courthouse sitting in late January

Historic Dunedin Courthouse sitting in late January

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The first formal sitting at Dunedin’s refurbished Stuart Street Court will be on Friday, 26 January 2018 following extensive earthquake strengthening.

View of Dunedin Courthouse from the street outside

The sitting will be preceded by a procession of the Judiciary and the profession from the Town Hall leaving at 1pm. The Otago Branch of the New Zealand Law Society will be holding a ball that evening for the sector to celebrate the restoration of the 115-year-old courthouse.

The greystone Victorian Gothic building was closed in December 2011 – though some services remained until May 2015 - after being assessed as being as high risk in even a moderate earthquake.

Since then all cases and hearings have been held in temporary facilities on High Street, as well as at John Wickliffe House.

Cabinet agreed to the strengthening and restoration of Dunedin's historic courthouse in 2015.

The Ministry of Justice has said the changes are designed to “substantially improve court capacity and capability, as well as an improved environment for the Judiciary and Ministry employees; court users; visitors and others associated with court appearances and processes.”