Kaikoura's 130-year-old court house has been severely damage in what the police say is a suspicious fire. Only two walls remain standing.
The Fire Service says emergency services were alerted at 4am on Tuesday by a resident living several blocks away, who reported a glow in the sky.
The building was well alight when fire crews arrived a short time later.
Police are investigating the blaze, which took three crews to bring under control.
Court sessions will resume in Kaikoura at an alternative venue in September.