23 Dec 2015

Fate of Christchurch Cathedral announced today

11:31 am on 23 December 2015

Whatever decision is made today about the fate of Christchurch's Anglican cathedral needs to be binding, says former Christchurch mayor Bob Parker.

Christchurch cathedral.

Christchurch cathedral. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

The city's most recognisable building has been empty and in a bad state of repair since the February 2011 earthquake caused its spire to collapse.

An announcement about the cathedral's future will be made at 4.30pm this afternoon.

The fate of the building has been controversial, with the church's decision to demolish the spire down to 3m challenged by the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust, a group set up to save the building.

The trust succeeded in winning a High Court injunction preventing demolition, but that was later overturned.

The church and the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust have been in government-brokered talks for the past four months.

Sir Bob Parker.

Sir Bob Parker. Photo: AFP

People were sick of the uncertainty, and it was impacting on the rebuild, Mr Parker said.

"The centre has moved slightly more towards the Avon River these days and probably the fact that the cathedral has sat there for five years with no certainty around it, that's contributed in a way to an element of that shift," Mr Parker said.

"So to bring life back into that part of the city, that site needs to be treated with the respect that it's due and building does need to go ahead."

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