Anderton says Cathedral repair costs over-estimated

Jim Anderton, the co-chairperson of a group fighting to save Christchurch Cathedral, the Greater Christchurch Buildings Trust (GCBT), believes the Anglican Church has over-estimated the cost of repairing the earthquake damaged cathedral.

The Trust has released survey results showing more than half of Christchurch residents support restoration, 51 percent and 66 percent if privately-funded, which the Anglican Church estimates would cost $220 million.

But the Buildings Trust’s Jim Anderton believes the church has factored in $115 million in inflation.

A member of the trust, the Reverend David Morrell, said the church should rethink its stance and engage with the wider community.

“If the church wishes to retain the respect – let alone the affection – of this city, it would be wise to reconsider its direction and engage in constructive dialogue with the town.”

Survey findings:

    • Based on no other information than the High Court ruling that a Cathedral must be built on the current site, 51 percent of those polled said a cathedral should be restored and 43 percent preferred demolition.
    • Given the scenario of the costs of restoration or replacement being approximately the same and private donations rather than ratepayer donations meeting the funds needed after insurance cover, the majority preferring restoration increased to 66 percent versus 30 percent preferring demolition.
    • Although the Anglican Church may officially own the Christ Church Cathedral, 77 percent of those questioned thought they should have a say about its future.
    • 68 percent felt restoration would boost the morale of Christchurch residents.
    • 86 percent of respondents said the Cathedral was a vital part of Christchurch’s history and heritage, despite its presently damaged condition.
    • 92 percent said Christ Church Cathedral had always been a vital part of Christchurch’s history and heritage.

Some 1000 people were surveyed, and the poll has a margin of error of 3.1 percent.



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