Threat to world heritage

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While I was in the midst of preparing the manuscript for my new book Imperial Gothic  a few years ago, a series of devastating earthquakes struck the New Zealand city of Christchurch. These quakes, of which there were two major ones between September 2010 and February 2011, caused widespread dam …

Cranmer Courts: Christchurch heritage reduced to mulch

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For a brief 10 minutes or so Justin Leadbetter managed to do what advocacy, placards and endless public meetings have failed to do in Christchurch. He stood – sat, actually – between the claws of a large orange excavator and the magnificent 136-year-old Cranmer Courts building, and stopped the …

History comes with a high price

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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 term …

PM wades into ChristChurch Cathedral debate

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Prime Minister John Key has waded into the debate over the beleaguered ChristChurch Cathedral, offering his own personal hopes for the city’s icon.   His comments come a day after the release of a new engineering report arguing the cathedral can be saved. Read the full TV OneNews article h …

New plans could halt Christchurch Cathedral demolition

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Christchurch Cathedral can and must be saved. “Can the Cathedral as it sits at the present time be made safe for entry and reconstruction? The answer is yes, unqualified,” he says. Mr Anderton, together with millionaire businessman Philip Burdon, commissioned structural engineers to come up wit …

Christ Church Cathedral can be saved

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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 g …

Christchurch Cathedral: ‘It can be done’

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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 …

John Key meets the Queen

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Prime Minister John Key’s audience with the Queen turned into a family affair – he took wife Bronagh and daughter Stephie along for the big occasion. Key, who has been in Britain for the Queen’s diamond jubilee, got a private audience with her at Buckingham Palace overnight New Ze …

Connection to the cathedral

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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 …