Christchurch cathedral decision in September – Regeneration Minister “deeply disappointed”

Christchurch cathedral

On Sunday Bishop Victoria Matthews announced in a letter that members of the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch’s synod would make the decision about the future of the Christchurch cathedral at its meeting in early September.

A government-appointed working party has been trying to decided the fate of the building and its report, which is due out shortly, is expected to support restoring the cathedral.

Greater Christchurch Regeneration Minister Nicky Wagner say she is “deeply disappointed” that the decision had been postponed again.

She said that the city urgently needed “some kind of hope of a solution” to what she called a horribly divisive issue. “and we were hoping for a breakthrough.”


To try to break the deadlock, 11 months ago a government-appointed working group met for the first time.

Wagner said the group has reached a conclusion, but would not say what it was, or when the report would be released.

In the letter, read out in all the churches in the Christchurch Anglican diocese, Matthews said a survey undertaken by the church found the public was “still divided” over rebuilding the cathedral or building an “inspirational and fit for purpose” contemporary cathedral, Matthews said, but the church and “a majority” of the Church Property Trust wanted the latter.

The synod is a 225-member governing body that includes elected parishioners, priests and youth representatives from the diocese. It is not known if the decision would require a unanimous vote or majority one.

Church property trustees includes National Party Canterbury-Westland chairman Roger Bridge, Deloitte New Zealand partner Steve Wakefield, former Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority boss Roger Sutton, law lecturer Moka Ritchie, civil engineer Bruce Deam, retired equine vet Corin Murfitt and Colliers director Gary Sellars.

The working party comprises of Christchurch developer Alasdair Cassels, former Christchurch Earthquake Recovery Authority general manager Steve Wakefield, National Party regional chair Roger Bridge, former NZ Transport Agency head Geoff Dangerfield and academic Sue McKenzie.


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