Cathedral argy-bargy over, now time for action

Christchurch has been delivered a blue-print for getting on and sorting out the Cathedral fiasco once and for all, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods.

“A report released today by Miriam Deans, the Crown appointed facilitator, lays out clear options for the city and its Cathedral. 

“That a decision on the building’s future can be made on the basis of what is already known means the days of to-ing and fro-ing over what is possible and what’s not are over.

“A combination of repairs, restoration, reconstruction and seismic strengthening offer a sensible way out of the Cathedral deadlock that has weighed us down for far too long. We could have a building that is largely indistinguishable from the pre-quake one.

“For over a century the Cathedral in the Square has been a symbol of Christchurch. For nearly five years that symbol has been a badly damaged building surrounding by wasteland. That has to change. Christchurch cannot go into a new year with a fenced off damaged building at its centre; we need hope and action not mesh fences and stalemates.

“The Cathedral, in its current state, has become the dead heart of the city. A decision will give everyone the confidence to get on with making it beat again. We know developers with property all around the Square are poised and waiting for a decision. That needs to be made with urgency.

“As an important first step into our future the Government needs to immediately revoke the s38 demolition notice that sits over the Cathedral. Removal of the order would send the message loud and clear that we are entering a new era. No work has been carried out under this order - its time is well and truly over.

“The Deans’ report makes it clear that the Cathedral could be safely reinstated and we urge the Church to now move in the interests of Christchurch,” says Megan Woods.