INDEPENDENT NEWS

Newly Refurbished Court Opened

Published: Tue 14 Oct 2008 12:25 AM
Newly Refurbished Court Opened
The newly-refurbished Palmerston North courthouse was opened today by Courts Minister Rick Barker, who said the range of services required in a modern court setting has increased the need for multi-purpose, flexible court spaces such as this one.
Rick Barker said “A courthouse is a complex building to design. It must express the importance and solemnity of the rule of law and its traditions, while at the same time ensuring that it is open and welcoming for those who come through the doors.”
The redevelopment project has touched just about every type of justice service provided by the Ministry of Justice. There is a new multi-purpose courtroom, a new family courtroom and a larger youth courtroom. There are also two new Tenancy and other tribunal rooms, an office for referees and adjudicators, a second secure witness room and Collection of fines and civil debts staff now have a dedicated counter and administration space.
“The work that has gone into this building has resulted in a modern court building that will provide for the justice needs of the Manawatu region for many years to come”, said Rick Barker.
The completion of this refurbishment and extension project is the latest step in a major building programme being carried out by the Ministry of Justice. Nationwide we have completed five new courthouses and 28 major courthouse refurbishments in the last six years. A further two new courthouses are currently being planned and eight more major refurbishments are either planned or underway.
The Minister also praised the recent establishment in September of the Family Violence Court in Palmerston North. Family Violence Courts have previously operated in the Waitakere, Auckland, Manukau, Porirua, Lower Hutt and Masterton Courts.
“Family violence is an important issue facing communities, and this is an example of the justice system responding to community needs,” said Rick Barker.
Family Violence Courts have cases involving family violence scheduled to be heard on one day of the week in the District Court so that family violence matters can be dealt with in a timely way, with same day availability of specialist support and education services to both the victim and the offender. This can assist the victim, and their children to get the right advice and support as soon as possible.
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