Courts Minister Chester Borrows today announced the construction of a purpose-built facility for Youth Court hearings at Christchurch’s Ngā Hau e Whā marae.
“The new temporary youth courtroom will help us deliver the best possible response to youth offending in Christchurch, by minimising contact between youth and adult offenders, and providing dedicated facilities for youth justice professionals to work with young offenders,” says Mr Borrows.
The new court room will be built alongside the District Court established at the marae after the 22 February earthquake, and will be open by December 2012.
“To deliver on the Government’s commitment to reduce youth crime, we need to try different ways of delivering youth justice. As well as being physically separated from the list court at the marae, the youth court facility will provide this by including a range of multi-purpose rooms for youth justice agencies, such as Child, Youth and Family, ensuring young offenders have immediate access to the services they need to help them stop offending.
“It will also be an important asset for the wider courts structure in Christchurch, as it will give us additional capacity for other jurisdictions when not in use by the Youth Court, and enhance the Court’s ability to deal with any future seismic events,” says Mr Borrows.
The courtroom will be constructed from portable structures, to create an 84 square metre courtroom and associated facilities. It will cost between $250 000 and $350 000 to build, and it is anticipated it will be used for around two years.