Labour welcomes Christchurch Cathedral decision

Justice Chisholm’s decision, issued this afternoon and ordering a halt to the demolition of Christchurch’s Anglican Cathedral, has been welcomed by the Labour Party.

“The High Court has decided that there must, under the relevant deed, continue to be a cathedral on the site.  Unless demolition work is directed to ensuring that purpose, it is in breach of the trust deed that led to the original occupation of and construction on the existing site”, says Labour’s Arts, Culture and Heritage Spokesperson Charles Chauvel.

“The decision is to be welcomed in and of itself.  But it is also significant because it will call attention to the widespread use – and potential abuse – by the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority – of notices issued under s38 of its empowering legislation to authorise the demolition of many of Canterbury’s historic buildings.

“I was in Christchurch on Saturday and had the opportunity to observe examples of the destruction of Canterbury’s built heritage.  That destruction has gone largely unscrutinised, and that must now change.  I encourage Canterbury residents to take examples of s38 notices that they think have been wrongly-issued up with their local MPs so that Parliament can take a good look at them.

“Meanwhile, I congratulate all those who backed the judicial review application concerning the cathedral demolition.  Their success today will be remembered with gratitude by future generations of Cantabrians”, Charles Chauvel says.