Your browser version is outdated. We recommend that you update your browser to the latest version.

Resilience and Security features of the Christchurch Rebuild

FEATURES: Line of Defence, April 2016

Artist's rendering of the exterior of the Justice and Emergency Services Precinct.Artist's rendering of the exterior of the Justice and Emergency Services Precinct.


Coinciding with the 5th anniversary of the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes, Justice and Courts Minister Amy Adams announced back in February that the city's largest multi-agency project, the Justice and Emergency Services Precinct, was 12 months away from completion.

“This $300 million investment is unique because for the first time, all essential regional justice and emergency services will be brought together under one roof, encouraging a more collaborative approach to delivering services and responding to emergencies”, stated the minister.

The first sod was turned by Prime Minister John Key in January 2014, beginning the excavation of a volume of soil equivalent to eight Olympic swimming pools. Fifteen months on, the precinct’s steel framework is largely in place and the windows, roof, and exterior cladding are being installed.

On 11 March, Justice and Courts Minister Amy Adams placed the last bit of cement on the Precinct’s rooftop as part of a topping off ceremony.

Expected to be in use by mid-2017, the Precinct is scheduled for completion by early 2017.  It is the largest multi-agency project in New Zealand’s history, and it will be the first major government building to be completed in central Christchurch since the 2011 earthquakes.

“Practically, it will deliver high-quality services for the hundreds of people who will visit each day, but also has the structural strength to withstand seismic events so these essential services can continue to operate during regional or national emergencies”, said Ms Adams. The precinct’s seismic credentials include base isolation and specs to Importance Level 4 standard.


Artist's rendering of the lobby of the new precinct.Artist's rendering of the lobby of the new precinct.


The precinct’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) will provide Christchurch with a strategic operational control centre for managing local, regional and national incidents, enabled by purpose-built with state-of-the-art best practice EOC technology. It also has the ability to form a back-up response centre to other national crisis management centres.

The EOC will have its own power, water, and waste disposal for at least 72 hours, for resilience in any future emergency. It will be centrally located within the building and adjacent to 111 emergency services and Civil Defence and Emergency Management agencies for Christchurch and Canterbury. In a major emergency, it can expand into adjacent shared precinct facilities.

“With its 19 court rooms, dedicated Emergency Operations Centre, and its capacity to continue operations during national emergencies such as floods or earthquakes, the building is well equipped to serve Cantabrians into the future,” says Ms Adams.

The Precinct will comprise three buildings: a justice building, an emergency services building and an operational car park building, totaling 42,000 square metres of floor space. 19 Courtrooms will service the High Court, District Courts, Family Courts, Youth Court, Maori Land Court, Environment Court and other special jurisdictions. It will accommodate 1,100 staff and 900 daily visitors.

In addition to the courts, the Precinct will house the Ministry of Justice, New Zealand Police, Department of Corrections, New Zealand Fire Service, St John New Zealand, the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management, the Canterbury Civil Defence and Emergency Management Group, and the Christchurch City Council Civil Defence and Emergency Management.

Main contractor for the project is Fletcher Construction. Architects are a consortium led by Warren and Mahoney with Cox Architecture and Opus Architecture, quantity surveyor is Rider Levett Bucknall, engineer is Holmes Consulting Group, project and design manager is RCP Limited, and the building services engineer is a consortium led by Opus International Consultants with Beca.

Back to Homeland

Follow us


Contact us

Phone: 022 366 3691


© 2015. Defsec Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.






Line of Defence     

Fire NZ     

NZ Security