New Tauranga courthouse will be model for future courthouse design in NZ, says government

New Zealand has earmarked $100m on the new courthouse in Tauranga

New Tauranga courthouse will be model for future courthouse design in NZ, says government

The New Zealand government has earmarked $100m for the new courthouse rising in Tauranga, which is billed to be the model of future courthouse design across the country.

Justice Minister Andrew Little said that iwi, the local community, the judiciary, the legal profession, court staff, and other court users will all have a hand in designing the courthouse, which he said will be inspired by Te Ao Māori values and will focus on victim safety in the building. The new complex is expected to be ready by mid-2025.

“Victims routinely provide feedback about the alienating and distressing environment of the courthouse. It’s time to re-think the traditional courthouse design,” Little said. “For victims, being forced to share the same space with people who have hurt them can be incredibly confrontational. But they are there to see justice done, and to express the pain that they have experienced. We must make sure that the processes of justice do not compound that hurt.”

Little also said that based on feedback from users of civil courts, including the Family Court, what’s needed is a more family-friendly design that’s more sensitive to stress associated with family break-ups.

“This is an investment New Zealand must make to meet our commitment to put victims at the heart of the justice system,” Little said. “The new court will provide both victims and offenders and other users with access to wrap-around services which support, restore and rehabilitate, through the co-location of social sector agencies and the community on the premises.”

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