Inmates praised for cathedral replica

20:01, Dec 13 2012
cathedral landscape
MODEL: Restart shopper Mel James looks at the model on display in a shop window.

Christchurch's Anglican cathedral has returned to the heart of the city, at least in scale-model form.

A replica of the earthquake-damaged landmark was built from scrap metal by Christchurch Men's Prison inmates taking part in a 17-week plumbing and drainage trade course.

It was given to the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust, which offered it for display at design store Hapa in the Re:Start container mall.

Trust co-chairman Jim Anderton said the replica was a "magnificent piece of craftsmanship".

"All Cantabrians with an interest in the heritage and preservation of our most valued icons should take the opportunity to view the result of the emotional and caring approach of some of our most marginalised citizens," he said.

Anderton supplied the building's floor plans after being contacted by tutor Stephen Woodbury, who found photographs sourced from the internet lacked detail.


Woodbury said one of the students, Andrew, inspired the project and led the team of workers over several months.

Andrew, who was in prison when the February 2011 quake struck, said he felt burdened by not being able to help.

Anderton said he was amazed at the replica's detail.

"You've got to remember these guys had no materials to build it with, apart from scrap copper and bits and pieces they could find in their workshop.

"They just hammered them out," he said.

The Press