Waitaki District Council will have an informal discussion next Tuesday in response to the Ministry of Justice’s announcement to temporarily close the Oamaru and Balclutha courthouses for earthquake strengthening. The Council was informed late yesterday that the Oamaru courthouse would be temporarily closed to carry out engineering works. The Ministry has advised Council that until this work is complete or an alternative venue is found, Waitaki residents will be required to access court facilities in Timaru.
Next week’s discussion is likely to focus on a range of possible responses, which could include the creation of a working party in conjunction with the Ministry of Justice, local legal fraternity, MP Jacqui Dean and other key stakeholders. A spokesperson for Council explained:
While we understand the Ministry of Justice’s reasons for temporarily closing the Oamaru courthouse we are conscious of the importance of accessing local court services. Next Tuesday will provide an opportunity talk through possible interim solutions and options.