The largest multi-agency government co-location project in New Zealand
The Christchurch Justice and Emergency Services Precinct is the largest multi-agency government co-location project in New Zealand. The Precinct is intended to achieve the efficient delivery of justice and emergency services in one purpose built facility, and provide a strong anchor and catalyst to post earthquake regeneration of the Christchurch central city. The site was officially opened in late 2017.
Following the Canterbury earthquakes, the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority was tasked with preparing the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan to provide direction and the planning framework for the recovery of the central city. Boffa Miskell was incolved in the development of the plan, and assisted the Authority with providing an enabling planning framewrk for the new Precinct, with relatively few further planning approvals required for its construction.
Boffa Miskell was later engaged by the Ministry to advise on, prepare applications for, and obtain resource consents for the Precinct from Christchurch City Council. Boffa Miskell also provided landscape architecture services for the project.
The planning work had to be completed under time pressure to enable the overall project timeframes to be met. At the outset, Boffa Miskell made efforts to understand the project, the drivers of the client and the build, and provided advice on the most effective and efficient consenting approach. Ensuring that the design of the Precinct delivered on urban design best practice, and incorporated Ngāi Tahu cultural narratives into the design, while at the same time meeting the Ministry’s project objectives, were key considerations in the successful consenting of the project. Boffa Miskell worked with the Ministry, project lawyers Greenwood Roche, and architects Warren & Mahoney to ensure that the design and related documentation appropriately achieved this, including incorporating feedback from engagement with Ngāi Tahu, and the Council Urban Design Panel. The landscape design for the Precinct prepared by Boffa Miskell also was of a corresponding high quality and incorporated cultural cues, while meeting the Ministry’s specific functionality and Crime Prevention design requirements.
Due to the tight construction timeframe, the consenting of the project was staged. Boffa Miskell assisted by ensuring the right approvals were in place at the right time. The design for the Justice Precinct continuously evolved, including during construction in response to buildability, user needs, and cost considerations. The Boffa Miskell team understood the project functionality and buildability constraints, so were able to quickly respond to design changes and obtained any variations to the resource consent in a timely manner to ensure the overall build programme could continue.
Advising the Ministry of Justice on planning requirements and consenting strategy, preparing the main resource consent for the construction and operation of the precinct which involved co-ordinating other specialist assessments to inform the Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEE), and presenting before the Joint CERA, City Council, and Ngai Tahu Management Board tasked with making decisions on the application.