Christ Church Cathedral decision imminent, but 'could change in an instant'

The Christ Church Cathedral sits decaying in the city centre.
IAIN McGREGOR/FAIRFAX NZ

The Christ Church Cathedral sits decaying in the city centre.

Anglican Church Property Trustees (CPT) are meeting this week to consider a deal with the Government to restore the earthquake-damaged ChristChurch cathedral.

The icon has been sitting derelict in central Christchurch for more than six years.

Restoration campaigner Jim Anderton says a decision on the cathedral's future could be made public on Friday, but a source close to the process says it could be next week.

The ChristChurch Cathedral has been sitting derelict in the city centre for six years.
IAIN McGREGOR/FAIRFAX NZ

The ChristChurch Cathedral has been sitting derelict in the city centre for six years.

Greater Christchurch Regeneration Minister Gerry Brownlee said in February that the Government had offered $10 million in cash and a $15m loan to help restore the building.

The funding pledge was made to Anglican leaders in December and included an offer to handle resource consents and set up a project management office for the restoration, he said.

The deal involved Anglicans putting $42m towards the restoration and campaign group Great Christchurch Buildings Trust (GCBT) raising $15m from donors. Brownlee said that left $30m to be raised for the restoration over a number of years.

Great Christchurch Buildings Trust co-chairman Jim Anderton said a decision may be made public on the cathedral on Friday.
DAVID HALLETT/FAIRFAX NZ

Great Christchurch Buildings Trust co-chairman Jim Anderton said a decision may be made public on the cathedral on Friday.

GCBT co-chairman Anderton said he had heard from people "in the loop".

"We are expecting an announcement on Friday. That is what I hear, but who knows. That could change in an instant," he said.

"I wouldn't hold your breath. Everybody in the loop seems to think it is OK, but I have been doing this for five years and I know to wait."

Anderton said the Government's $10m offer was generous.

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A source close to the process confirmed CPT was meeting this week, but said a decision may not be made until next week.

"There will be a series of meetings that may spill over into next week because of people's plans," they said.

"It is possible that people will push for a Friday decision, but I would be very surprised. If there will be something I suspect it will be next week."

A spokeswoman for Brownlee said there was "nothing to say on the cathedral". A spokesman for the Anglican diocese did not respond to a request for comment.

 - Stuff

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