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Ministry of Justice building lift and remedial works nearing completion

Saturday 14 October 2023 | Written by Supplied | Published in Court, National


Ministry of Justice building lift and remedial works nearing completion
The lift, entrance roof extension and toilets at the Ministry of Justice building will be completed by the end of October. CIIC/23101335

Following a number of unexpected delays, the lift project at the Ministry of Justice building is set to be completed by the end of this month, Cook Islands Investment Corporation (CIIC) said in a statement.

The lift project, which is being managed by Cook Islands Investment Corporation and will finally address ongoing accessibility issues and water leaks, will also have modified roofing from the lift entrance to the main building.

Last week Cook Islands News observed a significant area of the public foyer in the Justice building closed, with multiple buckets spread across the floor.

A regular user of the facility, who did not want to be named, then said the issue had been ongoing for some time.  

While there appeared to be improvements in some areas over the course of time, other issues then became obvious.

The matter was not isolated to one part of the building but in multiple areas.

It appeared to be a “sticking plaster” situation where there was no “permanent fix”.

The publication earlier asked Secretary of Justice Tamatoa Jonassen and the Cook Islands Investment Corporation (CIIC) questions, following an announcement of further renovation work in the newspaper on Friday, October 6.

The statement from CIIC said addressing accessibility for the elderly and disabled always formed part of the project.

CIIC general manager asset development Anne Taoro says the lift, entrance roof extension and toilets will be completed by the end of October.

The total approved budget for accessibility works, the new lift, roof extension and toilets is $613,000.

“We do not expect to exceed this. We are tracking well, and expect at project end, we will be within budget.”

Because of significant shipping delays in specialist materials from New Zealand, separate roof waterproofing works did not commence until the end of July at both the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) building and Cook Islands Police Headquarters simultaneously.

These works are expected to fix water leaking that has previously and still currently occurs.

CIIC Assets Management Division general manager Vasie Ngatoko-Poila says Waterproofing Cook Islands Ltd led by Allan Cowan was awarded the contract at the end of June this year to undertake works to water-seal the Ministry of Justice building.

The scope of works includes cleaning all external windows, doors and skylight sealants and applying new, as well as replacing 3000 rusted screws that contributed to the leaks throughout the building.

Work has been coordinated around courthouse schedules, material supply and weather and is expected to be completed by this Tuesday, October 17.

The total cost for the Ministry of Justice alone is $24,000.

CIIC chief executive officer Allan Jensen says CIIC and MoJ work effectively across the Cook Islands in terms of maintaining MoJ building infrastructure, from available capital and operating appropriations assigned to relevant workstreams.