Wizard in 'save cathedral' bid

CHARLIE GATES
Last updated 05:00 10/03/2012
wizard

The Wizard talks to city councillor Aaron Keown.

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The Wizard is launching a campaign to save Christ Church Cathedral, saying he is "one Gothic icon trying to save another".

Protesters are also expected to visit Cathedral Square when it is partially opened to the public today. Councillor Aaron Keown is encouraging people to turn up with placards and to tie ribbons to the metal barriers.

The Wizard plans to launch his campaign next week with an advertisement in The Press.

"I am trying to save what is left of the building," he said.

"The church has failed us and Cera [Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority] has failed us, so what is left? The Wizard.

"I am the obvious third way and will use wit, humour and art to punch through.

"If we knock down the cathedral, the tourism trade will suffer really badly. It will be an economic disaster."

The campaign will be run in partnership with heritage campaign group Iconic, he said.

It emerged yesterday that the Christchurch City Council has had no communication with cathedral leaders for more than four months.

Council staff have not received any correspondence from cathedral leaders since October, an Official Information Act request by The Press has revealed.

"Apart from receiving this week's media release from Christ Church Cathedral, there has been no further correspondence between the heritage response team and the Anglican Church Property Trust with regard to the cathedral," a council spokeswoman wrote in an email.

Deputy Mayor Ngaire Button said she was not concerned by the lack of communication.

"I don't think there is really any conversation to be had with the council. I am hopeful we will have conversations in the future about what will be rebuilt," she said.

"I don't expect that the cathedral [representatives] will come and speak to the council about every decision. I don't think the council has anything to do with it.

"The council has invested in a lot of buildings. It is the same with the Arts Centre and a lot of historic buildings around the city.

"They are not all coming to us and saying, `What should we do now?'. I am not going to go tromping around in it criticising them."

Iconic chairman Ian Lochhead said the lack of communication was `regrettable".

"It is par for the course in terms of the way they have proceeded and refused to make public any further documentation on their decision-making process."

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- The Press

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