Jury trials are returning to Dunedin for the first time in 20 months.
Trials have been held in Invercargill since engineers found the tower of Dunedin's historic stone courthouse to be earthquake prone.
A newly fitted-out building has now opened in High Street.
Courts Minister Chester Borrows says the temporary courthouse is a great step forward.
"When you think for instance of a Crown solicitor, there's only a few of them and they're travelling for every case so it becomes quite difficult," he says.
"There's court staff, counsel and then there's the offenders and their families as well."
Mr Borrows says the temporary courthouse will be used for at least two years until the original court building has been strengthened.