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Supreme Court Wellington

Order In the Court – New Zealand Supreme Court



The new supreme court building has 90 tonne copper cage and red glass facade which represents the long life and strength inherent in Pohutakawa and Rata trees. This architectural symbolism has been lost on some of the Wellington locals; it has been call a monstrosity by some in the community.

Designer Mr Roy Wilson say it’s a feat of ingenuity and workmanship. The Supreme Court of New Zealand is the Highest Court in the land and it is therefore befitting that it should reflect the natural element of New Zealand and the Pohutukawa in full bloom represents the transparency of the New Zealand justice system.

The interior maintains the theme with the main court orb mimicking the shape of a kauri cone and the timber lining the room taking inspiration from the Tukutuku pattern on a Marae.

The $81 million dollar project involved the construction of the new Supreme Court building, together with the restoration of the neighbouring 130 year old, category 1 heritage listed High Court building.

Integrating the two contrasting buildings presented both architectural and structural challenges. The project has been a successful fusion of the old and the new. The project has won worldwide prominence and been nominated for a number of Architectural and Engineering awards.

The building was officially opened by his Royal Highness Prince William in the presence of the New Zealand Prime Minister the Honourable John Key.

Whilst controversy is sure to continue within the walls of the Supreme Court of New Zealand there is no doubt that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder and this unique building will stand the test of time.