WELLINGTON, July 5 (Xinhua) -- The Justice and Emergency Services Precinct in the South Island's largest city, Christchurch, reached a key milestone on Wednesday with the commencement of the fit-out of the Justice Building, said New Zealand Justice and Courts Minister Amy Adams.
"This is a major step forward for Cantabrians (in the Canterbury region)," Adams said in a release, adding that the Precinct demonstrates the government's commitment to providing Christchurch with modern and effective justice and emergency services.
When the Precinct is fully operational in the final quarter of this year, it will be the most significant anchor project completed in Christchurch since the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, Adams said.
The 300 million NZ dollars (218.6 million U.S. dollars) Precinct is the largest multi-agency project in New Zealand's history, she said, adding that all essential regional justice and emergency services are being brought together under one roof, which will enable them to take a more collaborative approach to providing services and responding to emergencies.
"Christchurch is one of New Zealand's three busiest courts. The Precinct will not only provide high-quality services for the hundreds of people who visit the court each day, but it is also being built to withstand seismic events," Adams said.
The Emergency Services Building is due to be completed this month, with the fit-out to commence shortly after. A blessing of the Precinct will be held on July 27, followed by the official opening and a public open day planned for August.