Support for courthouse increases

Dunedin's historic courthouse. Photo by Gregor Richardson.
Dunedin's historic courthouse. Photo by Gregor Richardson.
Public support for Dunedin's mothballed historic courthouse is growing, with an online petition climbing to more than 1000 signatures in a little more than a week.

Set up by Save our Courthouse, the petition calls for Justice Minister Amy Adams to commit to returning court services to the 1902 building.

The building's fate is tied to a business case, delivered to Mrs Adams last month, detailing the expected cost and scope of earthquake strengthening and other work the Ministry of Justice believes is necessary for the courthouse to reopen.

That business case was to be examined by Mrs Adams before being delivered to Cabinet, where a final decision will be made.

Cabinet meets in Wellington most Mondays, but Mrs Adams' office said on Friday the minister would not be taking the business case to Cabinet today.

Petition administrator and Dunedin city councillor Aaron Hawkins said now was the perfect time for people to show how much they cared about the building.

''This [1000 signatures] is a great milestone but it's not time to take our foot off the pedal.

''We have a responsibility as a community to help push things in that direction. But we can't do it alone. We need a strong and unified message from our community.''

People from as far afield as Spain, the United Kingdom, Ukraine and Singapore had signed. Cr Hawkins said organisers expected to deliver the petition to the minister ''within the week''.

-craig.borley@odt.co.nz

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