Wednesday, December 4, 2013

No Stopping Cathedral Demolition

Looks like it's the end of the line for a group wanting to rebuild the Christchurch Cathedral.
NBR yesterday reported that The Great Christchurch Buildings Trust has lost its Supreme Court bid to appeal the deconstruction of the cathedral.
The cathedral was damaged in the Sept.2010 EQ and subsequent EQs in 2011. In March 2012, Church Property Trustees decided to demolish it, after the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) said work was needed to make it safe. The trust went to the High Court which ruled (Oct.2012) the trustees had to build a new cathedral on the site if the existing one was demolished. But they did not have to replicate the cathedral as it was before the EQs. Last July, the Court of Appeal dismissed the trust's appeal to require reinstatement of the cathedral.
While the restoration is still a hot potato for some, I suggest that - three years on - its emotional significance to the majority has wained. I hear far more talk today about when long-awaited EQ repairs to homes may start; about the terrible roads; about the slow pace of the rebuild; and in a few cases, when officials might actually appear for the first time to assess damage!
Look closely, and an untrained eye can see the cathedral's beyond restoration, without a monstrous financial input which would be disproportionate to its societal value. An expert may counter that anything could be fixed...with a bottomless expense account. True - but Christchurch and the nation do not have that self-replenishing magical stash of cash.
To The Great Christchurch Buildings Trust: you fought well. You defended your principles. All credit to you. Now, please let it go gracefully.

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