Rival newspaper on historic heritage #cathedral

The Press editorial, today. Balanced.

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 08:31 14/07/2012
Editorial: Anglican diocese should give account
The pause in the demolition of Christ Church Cathedral is a positive sign that the building’s fate is not sealed. Its destruction, which had seemed the inevitable outcome of the Anglican Church’s stand, is now less certain as the Government and the diocese consider the Greater Christchurch Building Trust’s report that sets out a plan for the cathedral’s conservation. The result is the sense that, for the first time, the contending parties are in dialogue.

As The Press wrote about the consecration of the cathedral, in 1881, the building is “a symbol to our children and their descendants of the spirit which animated those who projected the settlement of Canterbury, a spirit which we who have come after have, however imperfectly, endeavoured to give form and shape to”.

The previous lack of serious dialogue had raised the temperature of the debate, causing unnecessary division in a city in need of unity. Positions had become entrenched, personal accusations were too common and the tone was embittered. The pause to consider eases that tension, at least temporarily. Even if the Anglican hierarchy remains committed to demolition, the advocates of retention will at least have the consolation of knowing that they were listened to.
They certainly have given their cause the best chance of success by producing the Building Trust report. It is a considered document from prestigious engineers that gives a detailed account of how the cathedral can be saved with most of its features intact. The somewhat vague assertions that salvage was possible have now been hardened into a clear plan of action.
Read more

Commissioned by Great Christchurch Building Trust (GCBT), documents received 10 July via Mark Belton at Restore Christchurch Cathedral:

Christchurch Cathedral Structural engineering Review Final 27June2012
(PDF, 94.8 KB)

Christchurch Cathedral MRO prelim sketches (F)
(PDF, 3.9 MB)

Related Post:
2.3.12 Christ Church, Cathedral Square

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, Design, Economics, Geography, Heritage, Inspiration, Media, NZHPT, People, Politics, Property, Site, Urban design

6 responses to “Rival newspaper on historic heritage #cathedral

  1. Elizabeth

    ###stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 10/08/2012
    The Press
    Anderton takes church to High Court
    By Marc Greenhill
    A fight to save Christ Church Cathedral is heading to the High Court. The Great Christchurch Buildings Trust, with former MP Jim Anderton as co-chairman, appeared to have fired its final shot after Anglican Church officials last week rejected a report saying the earthquake-damaged building could be safely restored. However, Anderton yesterday said the trust was seeking a declaratory judgment, or binding court ruling, to determine whether the church’s plans breached an act of Parliament protecting church buildings. It will launch the action on Tuesday. Anderton’s legal advice suggested that, under the act, church trustees were obligated to maintain and repair the building. Because there were no reasons stipulated in the act on when it was allowable to bring down churches, Anderton believed he had a case. Two Queen’s counsel backed the stance, he said. “On the face of it, if you can repair it, you haven’t got the right to demolish it. This is for the court to determine, but our legal advice is we have a very strong case,” he said. The court could order the church to undertake “genuine consultation”. “That’s when we might get a chance to get the engineers around the table,” Anderton said. Court action could have been avoided if the trust was dealing with a “loving owner”, but negotiations with the Cathedral Project Group had broken down, he said.
    Read more


    ### stuff.co.nz Last updated 09:17 10/08/2012
    The Press
    Why Christ Church Cathedral should be restored
    Former MPs and co-chairmen of the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust, Jim Anderton and Philip Burdon, give their perspective on why Christ Church Cathedral should be restored. The Great Christchurch Buildings Trust was created by citizens of the city to help restore the significant buildings in the city. It represents individuals, businesses, professionals and local communities who seek to work with the owners of our pre-eminent buildings, and has charitable trust status. The aim is to assist owners in the preservation of buildings which form a critical part of Christchurch’s infrastructure, and have essential features of business, heritage, tourism and social significance. The protection of key sites and buildings will ensure the future success of the Christchurch inner-city plan, as a financially viable living and working environment.
    Read more


    ### stuff.co.nz Last updated 09:29 10/08/2012
    The Press
    Broken heart better than no heart
    By Lee Vandervis
    OPINION: What do you get when you take the church out of Christchurch? What are they thinking? When they propose demolition, are they thinking at all? Cathedral Square is now the broken heart of Christchurch, but surely a broken heart is better than no heart. The Garden City is more fundamentally branded Christ’s Church, and the city council’s imagery reinforces this. Local Christchurch boy come Minister for Earthquake Recovery Gerry Brownlee has described heritage buildings as ‘old dungers’ and ‘old stuff . . . [that] needs to be got down and got out, because it’s dangerous and we don’t need it’. He has also been quoted as saying most of Christchurch’s 1000 heritage buildings were a danger to lives and should be demolished. What is Brownlee’s master plan for a city without the soul of heritage buildings? Does he not know that most earthquake deaths occurred in relatively modern buildings?
    Read more

    • Elizabeth

      ### 3news.co.nz Fri, 10 Aug 2012 6:22p.m.
      Fight to save cathedral goes to High Court
      By Annabelle Tukia
      A group trying to save Christchurch’s Anglican cathedral is taking its fight to the High Court. They hope an obscure act of Parliament will force the church to rebuild the landmark. Work to deconstruct Christchurch’s quake-ravaged cathedral is temporarily suspended, but if the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust gets its way it’ll be stopped altogether. They’re seeking clarification from the High Court because they believe the Anglican Church’s deconstruction of the building is in breach of a 2003 act of Parliament that protects church buildings.
      Read more + Video

  2. Hype O'Thermia

    Isn’t the importance of an historic building now a matter legitimately beyond the direct owner’s opinion/control? Atheists, agnostics, Baptists and all, can’t they legitimately claim an interest in a heritage building (or wetlands, or tract of native bush) alongside the property owner?
    The local chieftainess of the Cathedral seems to think it is only the business of the Anglican church. She also seems to think that an alternative building will receive the same support as the Cathedral had – and has. I think she overestimates the interest people have in “a” cathedral for worshippers and underestimates the importance of “that” cathedral for the much wider community.

  3. Elizabeth

    Architect Sir Miles Warren continues to push (his) design solution for the rebuild of Christ Church Cathedral, a solution that involves timber —ignoring 100 engineers (and many knowledgeable others) who say the stone cathedral can be fully restored.

    18.3.15 http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/the-rebuild/67428956/Sir-Miles-Warren-design-may-break-four-year-Christ-Church-Cathedral-deadlock
    17.4.12 http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/christchurch-earthquake-2011/6755391/Cathedral-can-be-saved-engineers

    A recent chain of correspondence between members of Restore Christchurch Cathedral, an advocacy group led by Mark Belton:

    From: Mark Belton
    Sent: Tuesday, 24 March 2015 12:42 p.m.
    To: [Restore Christchurch Cathedral mailing list]
    Subject: Time to heal the iconic heart of Christchurch

    Dear all… see Mike Yardley’s opinion piece in the Press.
    Yardley would prefer to see the old cathedral fully restored as proposed by GCBT, but is also comfortable with Warren’s plan.
    I would suggest that only with full restoration can the memory of our city’s founders vision be fully recovered. How much do we honour their memory? Very little it seems.
    I would also suggest that having yet another alternative on the table is divisive… and if the Warren plan prevailed… there would be sadness and regret forever amongst those who knew and loved the old cathedral. The alternative plans will never heal the distress and dissention.
    We only need to look at the arts centre restoration for an example that truly heals. There is no dissention or distress about the Arts Centre being faithfully restored, there is only support. Imagine the furore if it had been announced that the Arts Centre was to be demolished and replaced with replica buildings constructed in modern alternative materials.
    The Warren plan has had a long gestation. 3 years ago Sir Miles called me to look at his plans. After viewing them I said if the cathedral could not be restored this plan would be a good alternative. However I urged Miles not to come out with his plan as it was not necessary as it would be a diversion and as he knew the engineering community had already made it known they could fully restore the cathedral. Sadly he did not heed my request.
    It would be fair to say Warren’s cathedral plan as a new building would be more a memorial to Sir Miles (and the Bishop) than a faithful and true memorial to the vision, courage and ambition of our city’s early settlers. The new building would never be such a respectful memorial. Nor would it embody or evoke memory of those dead and living who love the old building.
    Mark Belton

    Mark Belton
    Managing Director
    Permanent Forests NZ Limited
    PO Box 34, Lyttelton 8841, New Zealand

    Last updated 05:00 24/03/2015
    OPINION: It was March 1, 2012, when the Anglican Bishop of Christchurch and the Church Property Trust (CPT) condemned the “dangerous” Christ Church Cathedral to the wrecking ball “to make it safe”.
    Three years on, the emblematic building continues to defy the doom merchants, steadfastly standing its ground, sentinel-like, its roofline remaining as straight as a gun barrel.
    It was also in March 2012 when Sir Miles Warren first presented his reinstatement plan to Anglican leaders, with the design focus on a reworked wooden interior.
    But, regrettably, Bishop Victoria and CPT refused to keep the faith with the enduring legacy of the city’s supreme landmark, opting to waste what is now three years, by charting a foolhearted path of orchestrating a contemporary new design.
    The much-maligned “upturned dinghy” concept, designed by Warren & Mahoney, spectacularly failed to fire with the public imagination.
    Last year’s “Amazing Cathedral” public relations campaign by the restoration movement clearly forced the CPT to reassess its strategy.
    The independently conducted Colmar Brunton research revealed 66 per cent public support for full-scale restoration, as outlined by the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust (GCBT).
    Their $67 million proposal, which is still on the table, would self-fund the $7.9m stabilisation of the church and privately fundraise for the $20m, over and above the $40m in insurance proceeds.
    Unlike Warren’s $35m proposal, the building wouldn’t have to be deconstructed first.
    As the GCBT indicated last week, their engineers are negotiating with church-appointed engineers to try to produce a joint feasibility report on full-scale restoration.
    Curiously, the CPT has now opted to spruik the three-year-old Warren “compromise” proposal.
    Restoration exponent Mark Belton is denouncing the Warren plan for its reliance on precast concrete and laminated radiata pine.
    Belton argues the guts-and-glory restoration of the acutely damaged Arts Centre hasn’t required any buildings to be levelled and rebuilt.
    My preference would be for the GCBT’s faithful restoration to get the green light.
    But, unlike the hardliners, I’m absolutely comfortable with Warren’s middle-course proposal, which would produce a cathedral with a weight loading of less than a tenth of the current structure.
    It’s time to heal the city’s heart.
    Both plans would guarantee the recognisable landmark we’ve always known, and Christchurch’s emblematic icon in the world’s eyes triumphantly rises again.
    I applaud the CPT for seemingly accepting and respecting that overriding imperative, three years on.
    Mike Yardley
    – The Press


    From: G Moore
    Sent: Tuesday, 24 March 2015 1:19 p.m.
    To: [Restore Christchurch Cathedral mailing list]
    Subject: RE: Time to heal the iconic heart of Christchurch

    Hi there Mark

    I’m not sure whether it is experience, or instinct, but I sense a compromise will be forced on this city with the Cathedral. If you dig in and will not compromise over anything, you could be left in the dust.

    I know this will not be a popular comment but there needs to be some serious and quick thinking undertaken by all parties. The difference between the Arts Centre and the Church is that the Arts Centre has really good leadership. They have displayed an understanding of this city and what is important and what’s not.

    When this City was established around the four estates the Anglican church was the establishment at prayer. Now our establishment understands that prayers are conducted by banks and financial institutions. These banks and financial institutions (which includes local and central government) have no sense of history, or morality, but they run our lives and the churches bow to them as well.

    That’s what we are dealing with. Depressing thinking about it.


    Garry Moore


    From: Mark Belton
    Sent: ‎Wednesday‎, ‎25‎ ‎March‎ ‎2015 ‎8‎:‎15‎ ‎a.m.
    To: [Restore Christchurch Cathedral mailing list]
    Subject: RE: Time to heal the iconic heart of Christchurch

    Thanks Gary for your wise counsel…
    That we are currently ruled by ‘corporate minds’ that ‘know not what they do’ when it comes to spiritual nature is at the core of the cathedral problem.
    So tragic that our city’s rebuild is overwhelmingly being directed by such minds.
    Our city’s founders were both practical and visionary, and their extraordinary achievements and utopian spiritual aspirations so uniquely expressed in their ‘Victorian Gothic architecture fully deserve to be respectfully protected wherever possible. In the case of the cathedral it is of course possible, and only possible with full restoration.
    Mountfort was the second settler (after Fitzgerald the first Superintendent) to leap ashore in Lyttelton, such was his enthusiasm and status.
    Can you imagine if traces of the first Maori settlement’s meeting house in Canterbury had survived, would we countenance taking it down and replacing it with a look-alike replica? That would be unthinkable, it would not happen, Maori would not allow such disrespect to their ancestors. Why has the our wider community lost its mojo on protecting its heritage?
    Recall Te Rauparaha’s 160 year old wooden church near Waikanae that was burnt to a cinder by an arsonist a decade or so ago. His people had it faithfully rebuilt in every detail, thereby recovering its spiritual and historical gravitas. Where is our respect for our city’s founders, their faith, their aspirations, v 28. their works?
    ‘Remove not the ancient landmarks which thy Fathers have set’ …Proverbs Chapter 22:
    Why is it that Maori spiritual and historical treasures are respected, but those of our city’s founders are not. Perversely it was the power of the Christian religion that moderated our worst natures as humans and brought an ethos of mutual respect, forgiveness and peace to these shores.
    We can only glimpse at the world changing power of this ethos on people in the thrawl of the Christian message 150-170 years ago. Recall Te Rauparaha’s son risked his life to bring the Christian message to Banks Peninsula Maori only a decade after his father had conquered, enslaved, and eaten its Ngai Tahu people (who had feuded, killed and eaten [the] other only a decade earlier).
    Our corner of the world here is peaceful and decent today largely because of the lingering cultural memory and values that Christianity bestowed on our Maori and European forefathers who aspired for justice, truth, and a caring community that embraced everyone, reflecting the foundation stone message of Christianity that before God we are all equal, we are all his children, and must respect and care for each other.
    So I come back to respecting the memory of the community of settlers who over time have aspired to create a better world here, all boat people, with their dreams for themselves and their Whanau.

    We need to respect our ancestors memory, we need milestones and monuments that help remind us of the past and help us navigate the future.
    The cathedral more than any other building in Christchurch is an ancestral spiritual building deserving of our protection and respect. Therefore, knowing it can be fully recovered I will not accept knocking it down and replacing it with an industrial materials replica, however cheap or lightweight, or smart the design, never!
    Warm regards

    Mark Belton
    10 Sandy Beach Road
    Governors Bay, RD1 Lyttelton
    Christchurch 8971


    From: Elizabeth Kerr
    Sent: ‎Sunday‎, ‎5‎ ‎April‎ ‎2015 ‎1:24‎ ‎p.m.
    To: [Restore Christchurch Cathedral mailing list]
    Subject: RE: Time to heal the iconic heart of Christchurch

    The Press: No stone left unturned in cathedral restoration [spoof]
    By Andrew Gunn – satirist
    Last updated 12:49, April 5 2015


    [from the spoof]

    OPINION The Great Christchurch Building Trust last night clarified its stance on the future of the Christ Church Cathedral, declaring that it would not rest until the landmark was restored to its exact original condition using only the materials, tools, techniques and working conditions that existed at the time it was built.

    “We’ve always been about authenticity,” Great Christchurch Building Trust co- chairman Philip Burdon told reporters clustered under a gaslight while his personal horse-drawn hansom cab idled nearby. “There’s nothing more important to us than the fastidious restoration of a 19-century stab at a medieval structure.
    – The Press

    Sent from Windows Mail

  4. Hype O'Thermia

    “Why is it that Maori spiritual and historical treasures are respected, but those of our city’s founders are not.”
    This is an attitude that sticks in my craw, over and over, in NZ today. Maori traditions and beliefs should never be trampled on, say the sensitive do-gooders. If only we “other NZers” had sensitive do-gooders to stand up for the things and value that are our heritage! Maori language – mispronounce it and you’re likely to cop criticism not only of your ignorance of one of NZ’s 3 official languages, but also for disrespect of Maori culture. Mangle English, or dare to point out that it is being used sloppily, and you’ll cop an earful about how languages are live and change, and you are a pedantic old fart for wanting long-accepted usage and pronunciation and clarity of expression.
    Maori have the advantage of the word “spirituality” attached to beliefs, material objects and cultural practice.
    Compare the weight of the word “spiritual” with Mark Belton’s “…a faithful and true memorial to the vision, courage and ambition of our city’s early settlers. The new building would never be such a respectful memorial. Nor would it embody or evoke memory of those dead and living who love the old building.” Garry Moore describes accurately what the “other NZers” face, lacking that hefty word for the deep feelings in our hearts, in our very bones, about what makes our society value-able to us in ways that don’t fit in a balance sheet. “These banks and financial institutions (which includes local and central government) have no sense of history, or morality, but they run our lives and the churches bow to them as well.”

    Where Maori “are” spiritual, we are dismissed as “sentimental” or backward-looking, refusing to move forward, We have no taonga, apparently. Nothing that cannot be substituted with an improved modern alternative, or destroyed for compensation which is usually decided by those who have no connection with what they have decided to trample over.
    I find myself feeling resentful at “special consideration” given to Maori. That’s nonsensical, an irrational reaction: what I really feel is the need for an even playing field where it’s not the Maori values that get bulldozed but ours that bulldozers are forbidden to touch.

  5. Elizabeth


    Re: Government appointed meditator on cathedral restoration option

    From: Mark Belton
    Sent: Thursday, 3 September 2015 10:54 p.m.
    To: a jordan; Aaron Campbell; Alma Rae; Andrew King; Anna Crighton; Anne Bailey; Annie Bonifant; Annie McGregor; trenoweth; Antony Gough; Antony Matthews; Ashley Cunliffe; Avril Thresh; Barbara Stewart;Ben West; Bob Hancock; Brendon Burns; Brent Bailey (LL.B); Brent Morrissey; Bronwyn Hedgecock; Bruce Harding; bruce @white.co.nz; Carol Aitken; Celia King; Celia Tripp; Charlotte Manson; Clare Devereux; Colin Meurk; David Collins; David & Roz Elworthy; David Hill; David Lynch; david mcphail; cranmer @vodafone.net.nz; Deborah Smith; Derek & Julie Broese; Derek Anderson; Don & Dianne Atkinson; Drew Parsons; Duncan Craig; Elizabeth Kerr; Endel Lust; erica brouard; Ernest Duval; Fred Tunnicliffe; Garry Moore; AMSR (Garth); CCC Glenn Livingstone; Graeme Brady; Graeme Stanley; Hayden Trass; Haydn Rawstron; Haydn Rawstron; Helen Smith; Horia Grecu; Hugh Logan; Ian Lochhead; wizard; Bowring, Jacqueline; Jade Kirk; Carr, James; Janette Kear; Jeremy Warne; Jessica Halliday; jpanderton1 @gmail.com; Johanna @kingconsultants.co.nz; johnro @slingshot.co.nz; John & Sandra Wyatt; john clark; Julie Duthie; Keith Harrison; Lee Townshend; Lindy and Chris Drury; Lisle Hood; lorraine North; Louise Deans; Lynette Hardie Wills; Lynn Mouat; Lynne Lochhead; Marcus Brandt; Mark Belton; Mark Gerrard; Mark Robberds; Mark Whyte; Martin and Sylvia MacFarlane; Mary Caroe; Mary Farrell; Megan Woods; Michelle May; Mike Norris; Mike Pero; Mike Yardley; Mike Yardley; Neil Roberts; nigel colenso; Pat Unger; Paul Le Comte; Pauline Weston-Webb; Penny Orme; Peter Blaxall; Peter Kempthorne; philip burdon; Philipking; Philippa Wadsworth; Phillip Harris; Prof David Elms; Spellerberg, Ian; Prue Harris; Ramon Maniapoto; Rebecca Finch; Rev David Morrell; Richard Benge; Richard Hamilton; Rob Hall; Robert W. Chambers; Robert Watson; robyn kilty; Rodney Laredo; Ronald Thomas; Rosemary Turnbell; Ross Gray; Rupert Ward; Ruth Dyson; Sandra Shaw; Sarah Johnson-Stark; Sebastian Wilberforce; Simon & Jenny Swaffield; Steve Harris & Kylie Harris (JP); Sue and Graeme A Court; Tim Preston; Trish Allen; Vaughan Maybury; Vivian Bishop; Win Clark
    Subject: Government appointed meditator on cathedral restoration option

    Dear Cathedral Restoration Supporters,
    Tonight it was announced Government and the Anglican Church have agreed to have a mediator consider the options for the cathedral, which essentially means canvassing the engineering expertise representing the church, GCBT, et al.
    It is auspicious the announcement is on the eve of the 5th Anniversary of the start of the Quakes and Government is behind this.
    Given all engineers without exception agree the cathedral can be fully restored and made safe there are grounds for hoping this process will lead to confirming full restoration of the cathedral is both feasible and affordable.

    With Hope

    Mark Belton

    Co-Chair Restore Christchurch Cathedral Group Inc

    ### Stuff.co.nz Last updated 19:46, September 3 2015
    Church announces new deal for Christ Church Cathedral
    By Tess McClure and Niicole Mathewson
    Source: The Press
    An independent Government-appointed consultant will be brought in to negotiate plans for the earthquake-damaged Christ Church Cathedral after four years of deadlock.
    Plans for the future of Christchurch’s iconic cathedral stalled in 2011 after Anglican leaders came out in support of plans to partially demolish the building. They had faced ongoing opposition from heritage campaigners, particularly the Great Christchurch Building Trust (GCBT), which wanted the old cathedral to be fully restored.

    Bishop Victoria Matthews made the announcement to a full house at the Christ Church Transitional Cathedral on Hereford St on Thursday evening. “In the midst of many people telling us how to proceed, we have not wanted disproportionate resources focused on the Cathedral especially when we have wider responsibilities in Christian leadership,” she said. “We are also aware that indecision about the future of Christ Church Cathedral is having a significant effect on the re-birth of Christchurch from the centre outward.”

    GCBT co-chairman Jim Anderton said the Government’s move to bring in an independent consultant was “very responsible”. He praised Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee for playing an important role in keeping “all the options open”. There had not been “any major engineering dispute” between the two parties, but there had never been an independent mediator involved and he was “looking forward to this making some very significant progress”. “Now that we’ve got this process in action, I’m hopeful we can make some rapid progress,” Anderton said. “No one will be more pleased than us to get out of the courts and into the construction business – or reconstruction.”
    Read more

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