But the campaigners battling to save the quake-crippled Christ Church Cathedral have vowed to go down fighting, despite a court ruling its demolition can legally proceed.
Bulldozers won't be allowed to roll over the 132yr.old building until outstanding legalities are sorted out, but the Anglican Diocese received a major boost on Friday when the the Court of Appeal upheld an earlier decision allowing deconstruction to finally continue.
The Gothic-style cathedral's custodians - the Church Property Trustees - earlier this year released three options for a future cathedral, including restoration, a timber replacement, or a contemporary design...which the Church prefers.
The Church's plan to deconstruct the damaged building to a safe level of 2-3m above the ground, prompted public protests and the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust (GCBT) went to the High Court to reverse the move. The court ruled the Church was entitled to deconstruct the mauled cathedral, but only if a new one was built on the same CBD site. This was challenged in the Court of Appeal, which this week unanimously upheld the High Court's findings.
It means the Church is now allowed to continue deconstructing the building, but not until the High Court settles a number of outstanding issues, including whether the Church will repay an insurance payout used to build its temporary 'cardboard cathedral'.
The GCBT is "very disappointed" with the decision, but has not given up hope: it'll be meeting with legal advisers this week to consider options.
But go into the CBD soon and look at the Cathedral up close. It's dead. It can not be fixed without uber-financial input, the like of which can not be justified. It's time to let it go.