Christchurch’s state-of-the-art Justice and Emergency Services Precinct was officially opened by Prime Minister Bill English on Tuesday.
Justice and Courts Minister Amy Adams says the opening marks the latest and most significant milestone in the $300 million Precinct’s development.
“This is a special day for Cantabrians. The Precinct will provide a welcome boost to the vibrancy and economy of Christchurch city, with an estimated 2,000 people either working in or visiting the facility daily,” she says.
“The Precinct is the largest multi-agency government co-location project in New Zealand’s history and brings all regional justice and emergency services together in one purpose-built facility.
“It has been built to withstand seismic events and contains special resiliency features to enable the Emergency Operations Centre and 111 Call Centre to continue operating in a major emergency, including a back-up power generator, 100,000 litres of portable water and 100,000 litres of sewerage storage,” says Ms Adams.
The official opening of the Precinct will be followed by a public open day on Sunday to give Cantabrians the opportunity to have a behind-the-scenes look at spaces that would otherwise be restricted once operations begin.
Following the public open day, agencies will begin moving in and it is expected that the first public facing operations will begin in mid-October.
The new NZLS Library within the precinct will have to make do with significantly reduced space, impacting greatly on shelving.
A video showing images of the new Precinct and featuring interviews with people involved in the project was played at the opening.
The $300 million Precinct will bring together all justice and emergency services.
Construction began in July 2014 and it was hoped the contractor Fletcher Construction would complete their building in late March 2017.