10 Dec 2013

Historic Oamaru courthouse to be sold

6:45 pm on 10 December 2013

Oamaru is to get a portable building for a court while a buyer sought for its historic courthouse.

In 2011, the Ministry of Justice closed the North Otago town's whitestone courthouse on the main street after engineers rated it as badly earthquake prone.

The Waitaki District Council and the community have been pressing the Government to repair the 130-year-old building, which it now estimates will cost between $1 million and $2 million to strengthen.

Courts Minister Chester Borrows said on Tuesday he has decided to bring down a portacom courthouse used in Christchurch to buy some time.

Mr Borrows said his hope is then to find a buyer for the building who is willing to do it up.

The ministry is talking to Ngai Tahu, the council and others about buying the courthouse.