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The courthouse was deemed unsafe in 2011, and the Ministry had prioritised the time since on getting court services established on other sites, she said during a visit to Dunedin.
With changes to earthquake strengthening guidelines being announced last month, there was now fresh work being done on what needed to happen at the courthouse, and how much that would cost, she said.
Once that information was available Ms Adams said she would take it to cabinet in an attempt to get the required funding.
She could not guarantee that would happen before the next election in 2017.
Ms Adams said there had been no plan to announce the courthouse's retention this week, despite Labour MP David Clark's assertion such an announcement was imminent.