Government bullies Anglican Church over cathedral rebuild

The government is increasing its pressure on the Anglican Church to agree to rebuild the ChristChurch cathedral and has sent it a cross-party letter.

The future of the badly damaged building has been up in the air for six years. The Anglican Church favours a new building while some heritage advocates wanted the original restored.

The Church Synod is to vote in September over whether the iconic building should be reinstated or demolished.

After six years, they are clearly not interested in a solution and a lot more interested in the process.   But the government is using the carrot/stick approach.

the government offered the Anglican Church $25 million dollars in funding and loans to reinstate the cathedral. The Christchurch City Council also offered $10 million in funding, subject to public consultation.

The letter was signed by the leaders of National, United Future, the Māori Party, ACT, Labour and the Greens who agreed to support legislation that would help enable the cathedral to be reinstated.

It encouraged the synod to make a “prompt decision” about the cathedral’s future.

It said the cathedral was not just a place of worship but also a “Category A heritage building, a tourist attraction in the city, and an important community facility”.

The minister responsible for Christchurch’s regeneration, Nicky Wagner, said: “we need an agreed solution on its future and we need it sooner rather than later”.

She said she believed the letter carried a lot of weight, and strengthened the government’s funding offer.

In the end, it is a private property matter.   If the Government is that keen, it needs to offer to buy the site outright and then rebuild the church itself.   The Anglican church aren’t short of money.  If they had wanted the building fixed, it would have started by now.   It seems unlikely they’ll want to put money into a building that’s likely to fall over again during the next quake.



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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

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