Corporate welfare for a private organisation that doesn’t even want it

Taxpayers around the country on are the hook to rebuild a privately owned building that the owner doesn’t even want to rebuild.

That’s right, the taxpayers of Auckland, Wellington and Palmerston North are now funding the rebuild of a collapsed brick building of no architectural merit because some wankers keep taking the owner to court to rebuild their building when they don’t even want to.

An offer of $35 million, along with legislation to fast-track the restoration of earthquake-crippled Christ Church Cathedral, has been made by the Government and Christchurch City Council today.

The deal was presented this morning by Minister Supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration Nicky Wagner to Anglican Bishop Victoria Matthews.

The deal consists of a new Crown offer of $10 million plus an interest-free loan of $15m. The council will contribute an extra $10m, subject to public consultation, and comes on top of a pledge through the Restore Christchurch Cathedral Campaign for a further $13m.

Taken together with the church’s insurance proceeds of $42m, it brings the money available to about $90m.

It leaves a shortfall of about $14m, after the Cathedral Working Group Recommendation Report, released last month, recommended rebuilding the cathedral, at an estimated cost of $104m.

The cost of the restoration, however, has also risen and is now at $127m, leaving a shortfall of $37m.

Matthews has agreed to take the new offer to the church’s synod, made up of 225 clergy and elected members of the local diocese, in September.

“This not about favouring reinstatement over restoration or a contemporary new-build,” Wagner said.

“It’s about finding a way forward that doesn’t leave everyone tied up in court for five to 10 years.”

It’s been more than six years since the Gothic-style 136-year-old cathedral was badly damaged in the 6.3-magnitude earthquake that devastated the Garden City on February 22, 2011.

For all of those whinging about Sanitarium not paying tax, where are you now on this organisation, the Anglican Church, who also don’t pay tax but are now corporate bludgers to the tune of $35 million to re-build a building the Church doesn’t even want?

How useful is a clapped out, rebuilt brick building of no architectural merit to the people of Christchurch?

How many affordable homes, state houses, hip replacements, and hungry kids could that $35 million help?

We hear the opposition talk about housing crisis, poverty crisis but I’ve never once heard about a lack of churches being a crisis.

If the Anglicans were subscribed to proper Christian values they’d turn the cash down. Building a Cathedral worth $100 million is not going to help the poor.

This is just another taxpayer subsidy for private benefit.


-NZ Herald

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