High Court halts Cathedral demolition
(5pm Thur 15 Nov)
Christ Church Cathedral has been granted a stay of execution.
A High Court ruling today ordered the planned demolition of the earthquake-damaged landmark be stopped until further notice.
The legal challenge was brought by the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust against building owner, the Church Property Trust (CPT).
read the full court order here
full Stuff story here
The Restore Christchurch Cathedral group has obtained legal advice from ChenPalmer, winner for the last 5 years of the New Zealand Top Public Law Firm award, whether there are legal protections for Christchurch Cathedral in addition to the judgement being sought by Great Christchurch Buildings Trust from the High Court in relation to legislation governing the Anglican church’s responsibility to protect and maintain the building.
Spokesperson Mark Belton said ChenPalmer had identified a statutory duty under the legislation governing the New Zealand Historic Places Trust which would strongly suggest it would be wrong for NZHPT to sign-off on the Church proceeding with its maximum demolition plan. Under the CER Act it is required that NZHPT approve and sign-off section 38 demolitions of buildings of high heritage and archaeological value.
Belton said “ it is now crystal clear that there is no justification for the Church Property Trustees to proceed with maximum demolition on engineering or safety grounds, or on funding or cost grounds”.
ChenPalmer acting on behalf of the Restore Christchurch Cathedral Group have sent a letter to the NZHPT reminding it of its statutory responsibilities.
Belton noted the NZHPT Board passed a resolution in April endorsing the call for a halt to further demolition (beyond demolition of the spire) based on engineering reports that indicated the feasibility of restoration. Since that time a number of expert reports (including affidavits submitted in the current High Court hearing) that have confirmed the cathedral can be safely and fully restored, and that the necessary funds for this purpose can be raised.
Chen adds weight to cathedral demolition debate
"A legal battle to save Christ Church Cathedral is set to rage on after high-profile Auckland lawyer Mai Chen claimed the demolition order may be unlawful...
Chen's view was the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT) breached its statutory obligation to protect heritage buildings by approving the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority's section 38 demolition order.
In her opinion, the NZHPT signoff was required under the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery (CER) Act."
Read the full story at Stuff.co.nz
OPINION: Christchurch feels like a city under attack.
So much of its central business district has been demolished that its streets are unrecognisable, even to those of us who have spent most of our lives here.
The inner-city area within the Four Avenues is described by locals increasingly in terms of a war zone. Comparisons with Kabul or Baghdad abound.
Full article here
Saving Heritage: Public Meeting
Tuesday 2 October 7:30pm
Ng Gallery 212 Madras St
"The impact of the CCDU Blueprint on CBD heritage buildings"
Glenn Livingstone Vice-chair CCC Community, Recreation and Culture Committee
Lorraine North Chair Canterbury Arts and Heritage Trust
Lisle Hood CBD heritage property owner
Eugenie Sage Green MP, spokesperson on Environment/RMA,
Local Government and Christchurch Earthquake Recovery
Yani Johanson Chair CCC Community, Recreation and Culture Committee
Roland Logan co-owner Ng Gallery heritage building
Cathedral Public Meeting
Thursday 6th Sept: Cashmere Presbyterian Church Hall
2 MacMillan Ave (cnr Dyers Pass Road)
This an update on the current situation from a legal, engineering, fund raising, and community perspective.
Please come and bring anyone you know who may wish to support our cause.
It is timely to gather our resources and press for our cause.
US heritage building expert Marcus Brandt talks about saving ChristChurch Cathedral
OneNews interview with Marcus Brandt. Must watch video
You can view OneNews Breakfast video here
What if we could save the Anglican Cathedral
A new, free, weekly public lecture series at the University of Canterbury.
Marcus Brandt is an Adjunct Professor of Architecture from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. He has a wealth of experience with traditional building methods and in particular, restoration of traditional buildings. He has extensively studied the damage and possible safe repair methods for the Christchurch Cathedral and has recently been here talking to people and inspecting the damage first hand.
Date: Wednesday 11 July
Time: 6.30 – 8.00pm
More details here
Should the Anglican Church reconsider its demolition of the Christ Church Cathedral?
Please take the time to vote at The Press online now
Anglican Church will review new report
The Anglican Church says it will review a report that claims Christ Church Cathedral can be saved.
The church's Cathedral Project Group said today it had received the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust (GCBT) report.
The trust, headed by former MPs Jim Anderton and Philip Burdon, yesterday gave The Press an engineers' report that it claimed showed the cathedral could be safely restored.
Video and full article at The Press
Christchurch Cathedral: 'It can be done'
Those calling for the deconstruction of the Christchurch Cathedral can no longer claim the building cannot be saved, heritage campaigner Jim Anderton says.
A new report says the historic building can be saved with techniques similar to those used in underground mining.
The independent report, which was commissioned by The Great Christchurch Building Trust following the Anglican Church's decision to demolish the iconic building down to two-three metres, found "maximum retention" of the building was possible.
Full NZ Herald Article here
Hon Lianne Dalziel
Labour Spokesperson for the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery
Thank you for your request about the position that the Labour MPs based in Christchurch have taken on ChristChurch Cathedral. This is a personal response, as well as on behalf of Clayton Cosgrove, Ruth Dyson, Megan Woods and Rino Tirikatene.
Labour Leader David Shearer asked us at the start of the year how we wanted him to respond to the concerns that were being raised back then. This was what we requested he say:
“While recognising that this is technically a decision for the Church to make because they own the property, the wider community has a big stake in the Cathedral and in its future. The Cathedral is the reason we originally gained city status and it is part of our identity as a city. As ratepayers, we have contributed to the Cathedral through grants made by the Christchurch City Council over the years. We believe that this means there needs to be an open discussion with the public about the options that are available, together with the details of any offers that have been made to save the Cathedral. We also need to know that whatever decision had been reached that safety was assured. We all heaved a collective sigh of relief when we found that no-one had died as a result of the collapse and we want to keep it that way. We have been calling for transparency and accountability from central and local government over the recovery effort, and we believe that the Anglican Church must also be transparent when it comes to a building that defines Cathedral Square at the heart of our city.”
Read full letter here...
Connection to the cathedral
Sam Mahon looks back on the moments of his life when he felt connected to Christ Church Cathedral.
We were pausing for coffee recently in a rural cafe when a woman blew in through the door as if she had been expelled from a vacuum cleaner.
She headed for a nearby table and threw herself into a chair opposite a thin, upright man dressed in the drab garb of an undertaker.
Blowing a lock of hair from her eyes, she slapped a palm on the table between them and addressed him as follows: "What on earth have we done to deserve this snatch-and- grab society? It seems to have subsumed us."
read full article here...
Lessons from the Canterbury quakes
The eyes of the engineering world are on Christchurch as lessons from the dramatic earthquakes are learned and used in the creation of new, more resilient and safer buildings. PHILIP MATTHEWS reports.
Bad news refuses to stand still and in the past 15 months, Christchurch's earthquakes have been superseded by others.
On Tuesday evening New Zealand time, a 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck northern Italy, around the Emilia- Romagna region and the ancient city of Modena. By yesterday, the death toll was 17.
In a tragic irony, the Christchurch president of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering (NZSEE), Stefano Pampanin, comes from that part of Italy. For a moment, he had to shift his attention from Christchurch's post-quake building issues back to his home.
read full story here...
John Key meets with the Queen
"Key, who has been in Britain for the Queen's diamond jubilee, got a private audience with her at Buckingham Palace overnight New Zealand Time.
She used the meeting to seek assurances over Christchurch Cathedral after being inundated with pleas from New Zealand to save the building.
"The Queen has had an extraordinarily large amount of correspondence in relation to the Christchurch Cathedral," Key said.
He didn't know how many letters she had received or whether any groups were behind the letter writing campaign but he was aware the issue had sparked an "enormous" amount of correspondence."
Read full article here
Over 3000 signatures
Fantastic news as we have at this stage collected over 3000 signatures to the open letter to CERA, the Govt & the Bishop.
You can download the list above (PDF) by clicking on this link
Three precincts for Chch, Aust planner says
Three central-city precincts should form the foundation of the new Christchurch, a renowned Australian planning expert says.
"Yencken, who was the inaugural chair of the Australian Heritage Commission, said losing Christ Church Cathedral would be "absolutely terrible" for the city."
$55m restoration plan mooted
Heritage campaigners outlined a $55 million plan to restore Christ Church Cathedral after thousands of protesters took to the streets to save the Anglican Church at the weekend.
read more here...
An Open letter to CERA, the Anglican Bishop, The Prime Minister of NZ, all Members of Parliament, and the Mayor of ChCh
An open letter to CERA - CHURCH - GOVT (Hard copy)
We the undersigned oppose in the strongest terms possible the proposed razing of Christ Church Cathedral to a wall height of 3 metres. As signatories to this letter we see it as imperative that CERA, the Anglican Church, Christchurch City Council, our Government and all Cantabrians of whichever faith or none, join forces to secure Christ Church Cathedral for the future. It can be made safe, repaired and restored as near as possible to its original form.
Read more & download form here...
TV1: Thousands Rally to Save Cathedral
Protests over the demolition of ChristChurch Cathedral are heating up with a big rally today.
Watch article here...
TV3: 2000  rally to save cathedral
As more than 2000 people rallied to save Christchurch Cathedral, the other big question was whether yesterday's 5.2 magnitude earthquake would affect the city's long-awaited rebuild.
Press poll slammed by Restore Christchurch Cathedral Group
Mark Belton, spokesperson for the Restore Christchurch Cathedral campaign has slammed the Press poll as being dumb and unhelpful because the result was swung by respondents whose thinking is driven by irrational fear. Belton says the Church has constantly put out misinformation about safety issues to justify choosing the option to completely demolish the cathedral.
Read more here...
Amiria Grenell will be playing at Saturday's Rally
Amiria won a NZ Tui Award for Best Folk Album 2012, and just finished touring with ‘Fly My Pretties’
Old rivals join Cathedral fight
Former political rivals Jim Anderton and Philip Burdon have teamed up to back a rally on Saturday to save the Christ Church Cathedral.
Long time left-wing politician Mr Anderton is best known as former Progressive Party leader and Labour MP, while Mr Burdon once sat on the opposite side of the chamber as a National MP.
The two political veterans now co-chair the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust, and have worked alongside Mark Belton from Iconic to organise this weekend's rally.
read full story here...
Prince's adviser has quake fears
A senior adviser to Prince Charles has questioned whether short sighted decisions are adding to the devastation caused by the Canterbury earthquakes.
Hank Dittmar, chief executive of the Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment, reveals the concerns in a letter to Christchurch heritage campaigner Rodney Laredo.
Call to action for everyone wanting to see this beautiful building saved.
Saturday May 26th, 2:30pm Cramner Square
To download the poster click here
American Restoration Specialist and Professor to Visit Christchurch
Adjunct Professor of Architecture from Lehigh University, Marcus Brandt, will be in Christchurch in late May to speak about the “People’s Steeple” proposal for the rebuilding of the Bell tower at Christchurch Cathedral, safe shoring of Cathedral and other heritage buildings and the traditional building arts in general. (www.thePeoplesSteeple.org) He invites the key decision makers in the reconstruction of the Cathedral and other Christchurch Heritage buildings to consider the merits these proposals and approaches might have to offer.
Councillors ask for cathedral demolition halt
The Christchurch City Council has asked for an "immediate pause" in the demolition of Christ Church Cathedral in a move hailed by campaigners.
After a lengthy debate, councillors voted 10-4 to call for a halt to demolition while "deeper and more open consideration" of restoration plans took place.
Councillors passionately argued for each side of the issue during the discussions, with occasional flashes of anger.
read the rest of this amazing story at Stuff.co.nz
Councillors 'must do more' to stop demolition
Christchurch will be judged "very, very severely" if Christ Church Cathedral is demolished, city councillors have been told.
At their meeting today, councillors were asked to "show their hand" and call for a halt to the demolition of the cathedral.
Restore Christ Church Cathedral spokesman Mark Belton said experts from all over the world had shown that proposals for restoration were "imminently doable".
The Anglican Church had abandoned its responsibility of care for the building, and councillors needed to take a stronger stance on the issue for the good of the city, he said.
"Stand up and demonstrate to the people of Christchurch where you individually stand on this issue."
Belton asked councillors to pass a vote asking for a pause in the demolition process so "open and deep" public consultation could take place.
Read full CHCH Press article here...
Mike Pero Urges Cantabrians to Unite to Save Christchurch Cathedral
Christchurch-based entrepreneur Mike Pero is appealing to all Cantabrians and those from further afield to make a stand against the destruction of Christchurch Cathedral.
Pero, who was born and bred in Christchurch and lives here with his family, says now is the time for Cantabrians to have a say in major decisions that are being made in relation to the city’s rebuild.
“The ongoing saga in relation to restoring Christchurch Cathedral is exactly that – a saga. It is absolutely ludicrous that the pulling down of our city icon isn’t being stopped immediately, whilst time is taken to actually make some long-term decisions, without needless loss. How any business, organisation, religious group or other can go ahead with such destruction when quite clearly the building could be saved is beyond belief,” exclaims Pero.
Like many fellow Cantabrians, and in fact people throughout New Zealand and the world, Pero sees the restoration of Christchurch Cathedral as the key project to restoring the heart of Christchurch, giving people hope and creating a renewed symbol of courage and vision.
“This is New Zealand’s most iconic building, and one that engineering experts pledge is fully feasible to rebuild as safe as any modern building. So why on earth wouldn’t we? Cost is not the issue. The total cost could be between $80 and $90 million, which is only a tenth of the total amount being spent on the Arts Centre, new Convention Centre and a new stadium,” says Pero.
Pero is confident that if the Government, Anglican Church and Christchurch City Council were to jointly fund a $45 million fund towards the Cathedral’s restoration, that the balance could be achieved through fundraising ($4 million of which has already been pledged).
“It’s about being given the chance to give it a shot. Imagine the unification such a fundraising project would bring to Cantabrians – and it’s what people need right now, to feel some sense of belonging to a project as part of the rebuild. Opus International, who are world leading restoration project managers, have offered to be the lead project managers,” says Pero.
Pero is encouraging like-minded Cantabrians, New Zealanders and those from further afield to have their say and act to save Christchurch Cathedral.