How the $104 million ChristChurch Cathedral rebuild will be funded

by Sally Blundell / 29 September, 2017
RelatedArticlesModule - Christchurch cathedral

ChristChurch Cathedral in 1989. Photo/Getty Images

Fundraisers need to find around $14 million to square off the ChristChurch cathedral.

Bomb threats? No. Anarchist attacks? No. Earthquakes? Yes – the spire was damaged by tremors in 1881, 1888 and again in 2011. Protests? By the fistful. After the announcement in 2012 that the ChristChurch Cathedral would be largely demolished, to be replaced by a new “inspirational cathedral”, the church has been a lightning rod for protests, petitions, delayed pronouncements, legal challenges, costly analyses and cheap allegations.

To break the deadlock, in 2016 the Government established the Cathedral Working Group (CWG), comprising appointees from the Church Property Trustees (which holds the property on trust for the church), the Government and the pro-heritage Great Christchurch Buildings Trust (GCBT), to recommend a viable way to reinstate the damaged building.

In its November 2016 report, the group recommended a “reinstatement scenario” costing about $104 million. Last week, members of the Christchurch Synod were asked to vote for one of three options: repair and strengthen the existing building along the lines of the CWG recommendations; pull it down and build a new church; or gift it as is to the people of New Zealand. In choosing the first option, the Church Property Trustees is now committed to work with the Government to finalise arrangements, including the establishment of a fundraising trust. Already, $90 million of the $104 million has been accounted for, by the $42 million insurance payout, a Crown cash grant of $10 million, a Crown-funded loan of $15 million (which will not need to be repaid if certain conditions are met), a Christchurch City Council grant of $10 million (subject to public consultation) and a GCBT pledge of $13.7 million. This leaves about $14 million for fundraisers to find.

Given the financial support offered over six years of “pretty relentless opposition” from the church, says GCBT co-chair and former MP Philip Burdon, this won’t be a problem. “Certainly, the fundraising organisations believe it won’t be an issue. We have had very generous offers from a whole raft of people from the community and overseas, one on the table for $4 million, so I don’t believe it will be an issue. There is serious goodwill out there.”

This article was first published in the September 23, 2017 issue of the New Zealand Listener.


The death of Radio Live
99147 2018-11-16 06:54:48Z Radio

The death of Radio Live

by Colin Peacock

14 years after launching “the new voice of talk radio”, MediaWorks will silence Radio Live. Mediawatch looks at what could replace it.

Read more
Should Lime scooters stay or should they go?
99103 2018-11-16 00:00:00Z Social issues

Should Lime scooters stay or should they go?

by The Listener

For every safety warning, there’ll be a righteous uproar about the public good regarding the environment. It's about finding the right balance.

Read more
Kiwi drama Vermilion is hamstrung by a frustrating lack of clarity
98992 2018-11-16 00:00:00Z Movies

Kiwi drama Vermilion is hamstrung by a frustrating…

by James Robins

Academic and film-maker Dorthe Scheffmann has had a hand in some of New Zealand cinema’s most beloved movies. So what went wrong?

Read more
Win the 100 Best Books of 2018
99119 2018-11-16 00:00:00Z Win

Win the 100 Best Books of 2018

by The Listener

Each year, the Listener offers one lucky subscriber the chance to win all 100 of our Best Books.

Read more
Full of light and art, Forestry Cafe is south-east Auckland's newest coffee spot
99142 2018-11-15 16:49:34Z Auckland Eats

Full of light and art, Forestry Cafe is south-east…

by Alex Blackwood

New opening Forestry Cafe brings a city vibe to Flat Bush.

Read more
Turning a corner: Why this wayward Auckland teen stayed in school
99114 2018-11-15 10:34:07Z Social issues

Turning a corner: Why this wayward Auckland teen s…

by Vomle Springford

When Acer Ah Chee-Wilson was 14, he wanted to be in a gang.

Read more
What Kate Sheppard said that changed the course of New Zealand politics forever
99084 2018-11-15 00:00:00Z Politics

What Kate Sheppard said that changed the course of…

by Noted

Helen Clark and even Meghan Markle have quoted Kate Sheppard – what did she say that was so powerful?

Read more
Why Bret McKenzie is going straight with a new band
99026 2018-11-15 00:00:00Z Profiles

Why Bret McKenzie is going straight with a new ban…

by Russell Baillie

After a year of stadium comedy and Muppet shows, Bret McKenzie talks about returning to his music roots in a band whose songs are no laughing matter.

Read more