Court action over Christchurch Cathedral demolition

Jim Anderton, co-chairman of The Great Christchurch Buildings Trust, says that on Tuesday the trust  will launch a court action  seeking a declaratory judgment, or binding court ruling, to determine whether the church’s decision no to restore  the Christchurch Cathedral breached an act of Parliament protecting church buildings.

He says  legal advice backed by two Queen’s Counsel suggested that, under the act, church trustees were obligated to maintain and repair the building.

Anderton said court action could have been avoided if the trust was dealing with a “loving owner”, but negotiations with the Cathedral Project Group had broken down.

The judgment was likely to take three to four weeks, Anderton said.

Cathedral Project Group spokesman Gavin Holley said the group was “extraordinarily disappointed” by the trust’s action.

It represents individuals, businesses, professionals and local communities who seek to work with the owners of our pre-eminent buildings, and has charitable trust status.

Bishop Victoria Matthews says the Anglican Church has always believed ChristChurch Cathedral could be rebuilt, but the cost would be excessive.

The Cathedral Project Group has been considering an alternative engineers’ report that says the ruins of the church are safe for workers to restore.

But the group stands by its decision that it is simply too dangerous, and too expensive, to repair the huge stone building.

The Great Christchurch Buildings Trust was created  to help restore the significant buildings in the city.


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News category: New Zealand.

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