Auckland District Court: a re-vamped winner

By Anna Sandiford 14/12/2010

It’s been a while since I visited Auckland District Court. The desire to visit has not been strong because it was a dark and dingy place with a grubby, neglected feel to it.

So, having briefly attended to meet a colleague in relation to an arson matter at the end of last week, I now feel compelled to write about how it has been re-vamped and is an altogether much better experience.  The ladies restrooms have better fittings than some hotels I could mention (I can’t comment on the mens rooms) and the floors and chairs are less institutional.  The whole place feels much more crisp and less oppressive and it doesn’t smell like it used to, which is a good thing.

Of course unless you have a reason to be there, you can’t just wander on in for a look around without being checked over by the permanently installed safety screening system and the associated security guards – like the screening systems at the airport.  With any luck, the new screening will prevent the situation described in a previous post about finding knives in court foyers and the unfortunate incident in a Wellington court when a man stabbed himself.

I don’t know who paid for the upgrade or how long it took but it was well overdue and very much worthwhile. For people having to attend court, including defendants, complainants, families, Police, lawyers, forensic healthcare services, prison officers, jurors, judges and court reporters to name but a few, it surely must be better than it was?!

Now all we need is cheaper parking close by….