6 Mar 2022

Christ Church Cathedral restoration still on track for completion in 2027

3:57 pm on 6 March 2022

Progress is steady for the Christ Church Cathedral restoration, but locals cannot expect to see a finished building any time soon.

Work being done on the north side of Christ Church Cathedral in March 2022.

Work being done on the north side of Christ Church Cathedral. Photo: Supplied

The historic church is in the midst of an immense restoration project, after it was severely damaged in the 2011 earthquake.

After years of debate over whether to demolish or restore the building, a company was established in 2018 to deliver the restoration.

Planning and execution has been underway since then, with a finish date of 2027.

Christ Church Cathedral Reinstatement Limited is led by project director Keith Paterson.

Paterson said the focus of this year was to stabilise the building to make it safe for workers and to prevent further destruction.

"We've put some big steel work in place to hold the building up if there were to be an earthquake while we're fixing it," he said.

A depiction of Christ Church Cathedral once it has been restored.

A depiction of Christ Church Cathedral once it has been restored. Photo: Ian Hutchinson

Ancillary parts had been removed to clear the site, and more steel would be put in place through the year.

"A lot of this is really still temporary work, and that comes to a conclusion around about September - October.

"A renovation always takes longer than a new build," he said.

After the building was stabilised, Paterson said it would start to look more like a normal construction site, with conventional access methods and scaffolding.

"There will be quite a lot of very visible changes on the site, much more so than the year that's just gone by, so that'll be exciting."

This physical progress comes off the back of a largely conceptual year, where teams of architects, designers and fundraisers planned the future of the project.

A fundraising campaign was launched last year to fill a $50 million gap in the project's $154m price tag.

"Fundraising is always more efficient when you're about to run out of money," Paterson said, so the plan is to use up what they have over the next few years as the campaign kicks into full swing.

"We're spending more money every month for the next four or five years."

Paterson said despite challenges of inflation and Covid-19, he was optimistic the project would reach fundraising and construction targets in the next few years.

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