Dunedin Law Courts | ODT editorial

Dunedin Law Courts IMG_0193 a2 EJ Kerr 13.5.15

The Dunedin courthouse is one of the city’s finest historic buildings, and part of a heritage cluster impossible to match anywhere in this country.

We await an “unequivocal commitment” from the Government to return court services to their Dunedin home.

### ODT Online Tue, 22 Sep 2015
Editorial: ‘Nonsense’ courthouse costs
OPINION Really? Would earthquake strengthening of Dunedin’s courthouse really cost more than $15million as officials claim? Or is this another example where supposed post-earthquake costs are used as an excuse? Or can the Government simply not design and commission building work for reasonable prices? There is probably a bit of both.
Read more

Dunedin structural engineer Stephen Macknight called the Government’s $15million strengthening figure “absolutely ridiculous”.

Director of Dunedin construction company Lund South, Russell Lund, said his experience suggested the $15million figure was “just not even credible”.

### ODT Online Sat, 19 Sep 2015
$15m bill for court rejected
By Craig Borley
Dunedin engineers and construction experts have rubbished the Government’s claims the city’s historic courthouse needs earthquake strengthening work worth more than $15 million. […] Lou Robinson, director of Hadley Robinson Engineering, said he knew the courthouse intimately after being involved in the 2002 work on the complex. He estimated an “upper limit on strengthening of perhaps $3 million”.
Read more

Save Our Courthouse█ Website:

█ Facebook:

█ Petition to Justice Minister Amy Adams:
http://bit.ly/1FlZIWy (via Avaaz platform)

Related Posts and Comments:
7.9.15 Public petition to save Courthouse for courts use
11.7.15 Dunedin Law Courts “an incredible historic building” –Minister
14.5.15 Russell Lund on Ministry closure of Dunedin Law Courts
14.5.15 Justice at Dunedin
2.5.15 Ministry serves INJUSTICE for Dunedin Courthouse #HistoricHeritage

Post and image (2015) by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, Democracy, Design, Economics, Geography, Heritage, Media, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Structural engineering, Tourism, Town planning, Urban design, What stadium

10 responses to “Dunedin Law Courts | ODT editorial

  1. photonz

    Why do we need law courts?

    In Dunedin you can get drunk, smash someone’s windows, break into their house and threaten them, and the police don’t charge ’cause the person was drunk.

    Using that precedent Dunedin Police set, that should cut the Dunedin courts workload by 75%.

  2. Honest John Key

    You can also tag the central city to your heart’s delight and the Police and building owners will take no action to either catch you or remove your sh#t. Throw in some petrol drive offs and robberies of small businesses for your pleasure. Dunedin the smalltime criminal’s paradise!

  3. Elizabeth

    ### duinedintv.co.nz Wed, 23 Sep 2015
    Courthouse petition still attracting signatures
    A petition to save the historic courthouse is still attracting signatures, as it’s being considered by the government.
    Ch39 Link

    39 Dunedin Television Published on Sep 23, 2015
    Courthouse petition still attracting signatures

  4. Elizabeth

    ODT 24.9.15 (page 6)

    ODT 24.9.15 Letter to editor Hawkins p6 (1)

  5. Elizabeth

    Tradition is important in the rule of law and buildings such as the historic Dunedin Courthouse bolster that tradition writes Michael Reason.

    ### ODT Online Fri, 25 Sep 2015
    Justice also has physical foundations
    By Michael Reason
    OPINION The court of justice has a crucial role in a democracy. It must serve the interests of justice by upholding the rule of law. The decision of where it ought to be housed should be determined by what premises best support the rule of law.
    Read more

    ● Michael Reason is an Otago University and London School of Economics law graduate. He is a company director and barrister based in London.

  6. Elizabeth

    In Saturday’s ODT, barrister Anne Stevens gives the opinion, backed by two of New Zealand’s public law experts, that Minister Amy Adams has no right to keep the Dunedin Law Courts ‘business case’ from the public.

  7. Elizabeth

    Mrs Stevens said it was becoming clear the historic courthouse had a strong collection of friends. “The only enemy the court has is the Ministry of Justice.”

    ### ODT Online Sat, 26 Sep 2015
    Lawyers contest business plan secrecy
    By Craig Borley
    There are no grounds for keeping secret the controversial draft business plan for Dunedin’s historic courthouse, Dunedin barrister Anne Stevens says. Mrs Stevens’ view has received support from two of New Zealand’s public law experts. […] Former prime minister and public law expert Sir Geoffrey Palmer QC said Mrs Stevens’ concerns appeared valid, and needed to be assessed by the Ombudsman. […] Public law litigator and a partner at law firm Chen Palmer, Nick Russell, also backed Mrs Stevens’ views yesterday. […] The fact the draft plan was going to Cabinet did not make it “more official” or immediately give the minister a reason to withhold it, he said.
    Read more


    ### ODT Online Sat, 26 Sep 2015
    Adams’ reasoning ‘faulty’
    By Craig Borley
    Dunedin barrister Anne Stevens said yesterday Justice Minister Amy Adams’ reasoning for refusing to release the Dunedin Courthouse draft business plan was faulty and, with the ODT, she had taken that view to the Ombudsman. […] The minister’s office cited section 9 (2)(f)(iv) of the Official Information Act 1982.
    Section 9 (2)(f)(iv) states official information can be withheld “if, and only if, the withholding of the information is necessary to maintain the constitutional conventions for the time being which protect the confidentiality of advice tendered by Ministers of the Crown and officials”. The Official Information Act was “underpinned by the principle of availability”, Mrs Stevens said, and as such “it is very disappointing the minister is refusing the request”.
    Read more

  8. Elizabeth

    The card includes photographs showing heritage buildings protected and strengthened by private owners and the Dunedin City Council, notes this “proud legacy” and invites the Government to fix one of its own heritage buildings.

    ### ODT Online Sat, 3 Oct 2015
    Courthouse postcard plea to Parliament
    By Craig Borley and John Gibb
    Thousands of “postcards” emblazoned with a plea to save Dunedin’s historic courthouse will soon be winging their way to Parliament. In the second public push by the Save our Courthouse group, the postcards were handed out in George St, near the Meridian mall, yesterday.
    Read more

  9. Elizabeth

    Last week I was told the meeting was promising.

    ### ODT Online Wed, 25 Nov 2015
    Sworn to secrecy over courthouse costs
    By Craig Borley
    A secret meeting to discuss strengthening plans for Dunedin’s historic courthouse took place in Dunedin last week, but all present have been sworn to silence. Ministry of Justice-appointed engineers met engineers from Dunedin to discuss what was being planned for the building in an attempt to allow some scrutiny. […] The meeting was arranged by Dunedin-based Police Minister Michael Woodhouse.
    Read more

  10. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Fri, 27 Nov 2015
    Secrecy over courthouse plan decried
    By Craig Borley
    Gagging the participants of last week’s secret meeting on Dunedin’s historic courthouse was “over the top” and continued “a pattern of obstruction”, a Dunedin city councillor and courthouse advocate says.
    Dunedin’s 1902 courthouse is the subject of a draft business plan due before Cabinet within the next two weeks.
    Read more

    Sent to ODT……

    Submitted by ej kerr on Fri, 27/11/2015 – 11:26am.

    Cr Benson-Pope’s indignation (screechy politics) doesn’t help the cause. It was always time for learned structural engineers to converse.

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