Tag Archives: Earthquake proneness

Ministry serves INJUSTICE for Dunedin Courthouse #HistoricHeritage

In March last year, Justice said it was about to announce the successful contractor for the project, but that did not happen. (ODT)

### ODT Online Sat, 2 May 2015
$600k spent on courthouse, no work done
By Eileen Goodwin
The Ministry of Justice is staying tight-lipped about a change of plan over earthquake-strengthening the Stuart St courthouse in Dunedin, after spending more than $600,000 on its design. This week, the ministry announced the indefinite closure of the historic courthouse, which has been partially closed since December 2011. Court staff and most hearings will be based in the temporary courthouse in High St from May 18.
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Ministry press release says all court staff will move to the Temporary Courthouse in High St, and the Stuart St court will be closed from May 18 until further notice.

### ODT Online Fri, 1 May 2015
Temporary court too small: lawyer
By Eileen Goodwin
The Stuart St court building in Dunedin will be closed until further notice, and a Dunedin lawyer [Anne Stevens] has blasted the Ministry of Justice for years of inaction over planned earthquake strengthening. […] The Stuart St building partially closed in December 2011, but continued to house the Dunedin District Court and a range of court services and staff. The ministry has spent more than $6 million fitting out the High St building as a temporary facility, and it has been used for jury trials and other proceedings for some time.
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BACK STORIES – DUNEDIN COURTHOUSE

### ODT Online Fri, 10 May 2013
Dunedin court upgrade approved
By Rosie Manins
The Ministry of Justice will spend millions upgrading Dunedin’s historic courthouse, much to the delight of the city’s legal fraternity. “We are delighted,” New Zealand Law Society Otago branch president Associate Prof Donna Buckingham said yesterday. “This building represents the roots of the legal profession in Dunedin and many lawyers have spoken to me in the past 18 months about their strong attachment to it,” she said.
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### beehive.govt.nz 31 January, 2003
Speeches: Margaret Wilson
Opening of refurbished Dunedin Courthouse
Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa […] It is my privilege today to formally open this wonderfully refurbished building, which has been so important to the development of the law in New Zealand, and is the focus of so much interest for the people of Dunedin.
History of building
When Acting Premier Sir Joseph Ward opened this Courthouse just over 100 years ago, in June 1902, he described it as “the finest in the colony”. The Courthouse was, and remains, a showcase for local stone and the skill of its builders. Dunedin Courthouse - Justice (2012) via Heritage New Zealand. Photo by Phil Braithwaite [4374c_lg]However, the statue of Justice – which is directly above me – was imported from Italy. As Mayor Turner pointed out, the statue does not have a blindfold – the usual way the impartial processes of justice are portrayed. Although I am attracted to the Mayor’s explanation, I like to think of this omission as symbolising the farsighted vision of the pioneering women who took up the law in this city and set the stage for those of us who have followed.
While it has always been hailed as one of finest examples of Victorian Gothic architecture in New Zealand, this building became woefully inadequate as the century progressed. There was far too little space, the lighting, ventilation and heating systems were antiquated, and there were doubts about the safety of the structure in an earthquake. Then seven years ago, as we have heard, the sword fell from the presiding statue of Justice – perhaps she was trying to tell us something!
Courts rebuilding programme
The renovation and extension of this historic courthouse represents a significant capital investment – about $11 million in total. The work is part of a major building programme being undertaken by the Department for Courts. It is an investment that – as anyone involved will tell you, not just here but around the country – has been a long time coming.
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Dunedin Law Courts
1 Stuart Street, Dunedin

Heritage New Zealand | Category I Historic Place – List No: 4374

Dunedin Courthouse (2007) via Heritage New Zealand. Photo by Joan Colley [4374a_lg] 1a

Notable Features:
Its size and grandeur as a gothic building and its unmodified state.

Architect: John Campbell, Government Architect
Although John Campbell (1857-1942) designed the Dunedin Law Courts (1899-1902) in the Gothic style with a Scottish Baronial inflection, he established Edwardian Baroque as the government style for police stations, courthouses and post offices throughout New Zealand.
John Campbell served his articles under John Gordon (c1835-1912) in Glasgow. He arrived in Dunedin in 1882 and after a brief period as a draughtsman with Mason and Wales joined the Dunedin branch of the Public Works Department in 1883. His first known work, an unbuilt design for the Dunedin Railway Station, reveals an early interest in Baroque architecture. In November 1888 Campbell was transferred to Wellington where in 1889 he took up the position of draughtsman in charge of the Public Buildings Division of the Public Works Department. He remained in charge of the design of government buildings throughout New Zealand until his retirement in 1922, becoming in 1909 the first person to hold the position of Government Architect. Government architecture designed under his aegis evidences a change in style from Queen Anne to Edwardian Baroque. His best-known Queen Anne design is the Dunedin Police Station (1895-8), modelled on Richard Norman Shaw’s New Scotland Yard (1887-90). Among his most exuberant Edwardian Baroque buildings is the Public Trust Office, Wellington (1905-09). […] In 1911 Campbell won the nation-wide architectural competition for the design of Parliament Buildings, Wellington. Although only partially completed, Parliament House is the crowning achievement of Campbell’s career.

Construction Details:
The walls are built of Port Chalmers breccia with Oamaru stone window framing, parapets and pinnacles. (It is somewhat unusual for a Dunedin building to be completed in breccia rather than Leith Valley andesite with breccia foundations.) The roof is slate. The marble figure of Justice over the Stuart Street door in Italian and is not blindfolded. The High Court is lavishly gothic, with Rimu emblems and mouldings and with fine cast iron work fronting the jury and press seats and the witness stand. The major doors have gothic arches and the main staircase has a handsome cast iron balustrade. The Law Library still retains its fine built-in bookcases and heavy oak furniture.
An earlier law courts building existed to the east of the present site which was originally occupied by the Dunedin gaol. Later the courts moved to the Provincial Council building in the Exchange. Probably it was the availability of this latter building which delayed the erecting of the purpose-built home for the courts to as late as 1900.

Architectural Significance:
This is a late major gothic building for Dunedin. Only the University buildings around the archway are later in this category of building. It is reasonably pure in its styling, lacking the hybridisation with the classical apparent in some other buildings of this period.

Townscape/Landmark Significance:
The Law Courts form part of the impressive Castle Street precinct which includes the Florentine Railway Station across the road, the Central Police Station and the Otago Early Settlers building.

Related Posts and Comments:
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

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images: Dunedin Courthouse – Justice (2012) via Heritage New Zealand (Photo: Phil Braithwaite); Dunedin Courthouse (2007) via Heritage New Zealand (Photo: Joan Colley)

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Earthquake-prone Buildings Amendment Bill

The proposed amendment bill raises significant concerns about the maintenance of current building stock, the character and identity of towns and cities, and the economic and financial wellbeing of provincial councils and their communities. More than 7000 buildings south of Timaru would require upgrading, at a cost of $1.77 billion over a 15-year period.

Town Halls Merge 6

### ODT Online Mon, 24 Feb 2014
Councils aghast changes could cost billions
By Andrew Ashton
South Island councils are expected to offer a ”united front” in opposing new Government building regulations that could cost councils billions of dollars to implement.
Last year the Waitaki District Council joined the Dunedin and Invercargill city councils and the Central Otago, Clutha, Gore, Mackenzie, Southland, Timaru and Waimate district councils to present a joint submission on a discussion paper detailing proposed changes to the way earthquake-prone buildings are managed.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: Town Halls and auxillary functions (clockwise from top left) Invercargill, Dunedin, Timaru and Oamaru – posterised by whatifdunedin

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Dunedin Institution: University Book Shop (UBS)

UBS 1 [facebook.com] re-imaged 2378 Great King Street, Dunedin

### ODT Online Fri, 13 Sep 2013
Smaller University Bookshop on cards
By Vaughan Elder
After cutting staff numbers, the University Book Shop (UBS) is now considering reducing the size of its Great King St store.
Staff at the book shop were told in June to reapply for their jobs, as bookstore manager Phillippa Duffy looked at ways to reduce costs in the face of falling revenue. The Otago University Students’ Association-owned shop could be in for more change, with options being considered to reduce the shop’s size and split up its Great King St site.

“The iconic building is very much part of the UBS identity and we have no plans to move.”

The shop, especially now a second branch had been opened on campus this year, did not need to take up as much space as it did, Miss Duffy said. She met architects yesterday and options being examined, including what should be done with the space upstairs previously used to sell text-books and whether to keep the “non-stop sale” upstairs or move it downstairs, freeing up space.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images: facebook.com – UBS tweaked not lost by whatifdunedin

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Heritage: Old BNZ, Dunedin —restored

Work on the historic bank included strengthening the structure from 67% of building code requirements to 100% and installing a full fire sprinkler system.

Old BNZ c.1888 [FA Coxhead] re-imaged 1205 Princes St – Old BNZ c.1888 (photo by FA Coxhead re-imaged)

With Silver Fern [Farms] also moving into the old chief post office, it will give the Exchange momentum. The shops will do better and it will give the whole area more impetus. –Michael van Aart

### ODT Online Sat, 27 Jul 2013
Refurbished bank building ready for law firm
By Nigel Benson
Dunedin’s former commercial heart – the Exchange – will pulsate with new life next week. With scaffolding removed and tradesmen gone, the 130-year-old Bank of New Zealand building in Princes St will become the new home to commercial law firm Van Aart Sycamore Lawyers on Wednesday. The occupation of the building, which is considered architect William Barnett Armson’s (1834-1883) masterpiece, follows an 18-month restoration project.
“We’re really looking forward to moving in,” firm director Michael van Aart said yesterday. “The building is dramatic and one of a kind. We have to celebrate the unique features we have here in Dunedin and heritage is certainly one of them. The Exchange was the heart of New Zealand’s economy when it was built.”
The building had been untenanted for the past 13 years. Van Aart Sycamore Lawyers had been based in Radio House for the past six years and the move would be good for the Exchange, Mr van Aart believed.
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Old BNZ, Armson drawing no. 10 (Princes St facade) 2Armson drawing no. 10, Princes St facade with secondary doorway

Readings:
New Zealand Historic Places Trust – Category 1 Historic Place
(No. 7299) Registration Report – the history and significance

[wikipedia] Princes Street, Dunedin
[wikipedia] Bank of New Zealand

Book: John Barsby, The BNZ Building, Princes Street Dunedin (Southern Heritage Trust, 2011)

Related Post and Comments:
26.2.13 Bank of New Zealand Building, 205 Princes St (cnr Rattray)
[more images]

Banking desk from former BNZ Bank, Otago Settlers Museum [nzmuseums.co.nz]The banking desk designed by architect Robert A Lawson is held by Otago Settlers Museum; and an original ornamental fire surround from the bank is installed at Antrim House (NZHPT National Office) in Wellington (photographs in Barsby). It is thought one more fire surround went to another Wellington residence.

Drawing for write-up desk, Old BNZ (RA Lawson)RA Lawson, Drawing for write-up desk, Old BNZ

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Dunedin’s former Chief Post Office

Dunedin Chief Post Office [topnews.net.nz]

### ODT Online Sat, 22 Jun 2013
Post office conversion ready to go
By Hamish McNeilly
A multimillion-dollar project to transform the former Dunedin chief post office has been delivered. Work on converting the 10-storey heritage building into a 120-apartment hotel and office space for Silver Fern Farms and other commercial tenants could begin within weeks.

Dunedin Chief Post Office [distinctionhotels.co.nz]Building owner Geoff Thomson, of Distinction Hotels, told the Otago Daily Times: “I just love the building and it was just about trying to find a way to make it stack up.”

Arrow International would spearhead the fit-out of the office space and hotel and the construction of a multilevel car park at the rear of the building. The four-star plus Distinction Dunedin hotel project would cost more than $15 million, but those involved with the project declined to confirm a figure.
However, the anchor tenancy of Silver Fern Farms, which would occupy the first two floors, and unnamed commercial tenants the third floor, would help to “underpin the building”, Mr Thomson said.
The commercial floors would be fitted out by the end of the year. Construction of a three-storey car park on its Bond St car park at the rear of the building would also be done by then. Designs had yet to be finalised for the remaining seven floors of the hotel apartments.
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[history and significance]
█ Heritage New Zealand (HNZ) registration report: List No. 2145 (Category II)

Related Posts and Comments:
16.3.10 Public meeting: planning the future of Dunedin heritage buildings [updates on SFF]
2.7.12 Demolition by neglect. Townscape precincts.
6.12.11 Distinction Hotels: more work on former Chief Post Office
5.3.11 Former Chief Post Office, Dunedin – magazine feature . . .
14.8.10 No surprises with former CPO redevelopment
27.5.10 Distinction Dunedin: former chief post office
12.5.10 DScene – Geoff Thomson buys back former CPO
11.5.10 DCC Media Release – Chief Post Office
10.11.09 Dunedin public library services
23.10.09 Weekend ODT looks at The Exchange
3.9.09 Dunedin Public Library feasibility
26.8.09 DScene: Delta, STS, DCC larks
20.7.09 DCC + former CPO + others(??) = a public library (yeah right)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images: (from top) topnews.net.nz – Dunedin Chief Post Office, 283 Princes Street, Dunedin; distinctionhotels.co.nz – thumbnail; rootsweb.ancestry.com – 1930s b/w

Dunedin Chief Post Office 1930s (2) [rootsweb.ancestry.com]

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University of Otago development plans

University of Otago Registry and Clocktower Building [physics.otago.ac.nz] 1University of Otago Stadium building [otago.ac.nz] 2When previously . . .

### ODT Online Thu, 30 May 2013
$358m vote of confidence
By Vaughan Elder
The figure the university has earmarked for construction, from last year until 2020, was revealed in the university’s priority development plan, obtained by the Otago Daily Times under the Official Information Act. The plan includes 22 projects, 20 of which are in Dunedin. The university declined to reveal the budgets for individual projects, citing commercial sensitivity, but put the total budget for the work at $357.8 million.

University chief operating officer John Patrick said the projects were included in the plan for a number of reasons, including to accommodate growth, to improve building layout and efficiency and health and safety.

Asked how the university could afford such a large amount of work, given what it had previously described as a “difficult” funding environment, Mr Patrick said: “The University of Otago has a fiscal strategy that is designed to provide funding for capital development.”
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30.5.13 ODT: University updates staff on quake work

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images: (top) physics.otago.ac.nz – University of Otago Registry and Clocktower; otago.ac.nz – Building at University Plaza

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Dunedin’s existing building stock

Standard Building Before (Hazelton)1Standard Building Before

Standard Building March 2013 (Hazelton)1Standard Building March 2013 (Images: Glen Hazelton)

Email received.

—– Original Message —–
From: Glen Hazelton
To: City Planning ; EMT (Executive Management Team) ; Council 2010-2013 (Elected Members)
Sent: Tuesday, April 02, 2013 6:59 AM
Subject: Standard Building Update

Hi there everyone

For those of you who have not noticed this already – the scaffolding is down on the former Canton/Standard Building in Princes St. Externally, only the ground floor work to go now – inside is also starting to look just as amazing. See the before and after to see just how much you can transform a building perceived a few years back as having little value by many.

This work is a testament to the tenacity and passion of the owner (Ted Daniels) and also the skill and craftsmanship of Daniel Pollard, who unfortunately passed away without seeing the finished project. The project has also been proudly supported by the Dunedin Heritage Fund and DCC Heritage Rates Relief. A great example of just what can be achieved in our city when people put their minds to it.

Regards

Glen Hazelton
Policy Planner (Heritage), City Planning
Dunedin City Council

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### ODT Online Tue, 2 Apr 2013
Buildings may be abandoned
By Simon Hartley
Spiralling earthquake-proofing costs could leave some Dunedin commercial property owners owing more on investments than the properties are worth. This raises the possibility buildings could be abandoned, that being the way to lose the least amount of money, a commercial property consultant says.

Dunedin has the third-largest concentration of pre-1976 buildings, about 3900, behind Auckland’s 19,050 and Christchurch’s 5000, according to Quotable Value and local body data collated in a consultation paper by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Dunedin last year had about 160,000sq m of office space, of which ”at least 10%” will be deemed earthquake-prone, Colliers International national director of research and consulting Alan McMahon said when contacted.

Dunedin City Council policy planner for heritage, Glen Hazelton, said 138 building owners had provided assessments. About 58 were less than 33% compliant and required upgrading. More assessments are expected when owners change use. Upgrades are expected at that time.

One [Dunedin] building owner, who did not want to be identified, said while the council had written to many building owners, many had not yet responded, as the deadline is July next year. Another source said far more assessments had been carried out than reported to the council and it was ”likely they don’t want the assessment put on public record just yet”.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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