Christ Church Cathedral restoration shortfall is $56m, Anglican leaders say

Christ Church Cathedral has been derelict in the city centre for more than six years.
IAIN MCGREGOR/FAIRFAX NZ

Christ Church Cathedral has been derelict in the city centre for more than six years.

Anglican leaders say the funding shortfall for restoration of Christ Church Cathedral is $26 million higher than government figures and they will not start work until the $104m budget is raised.

Church Property Trustees (CPT) general manager Gavin Holley said the shortfall for the project was $56m, rather than the approximately $30m cited by Greater Christchurch Regeneration Minister Gerry Brownlee.

Holley does not include in his calculations the $15m loan offered by the Government or the $15 million fundraising promised by campaign group the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust (GCBT). He also adds $4 million to the budget for the cost of fundraising, bringing the total price to $108m.

An aerial view of the cathedral taken after the 2011 earthquake.
FAIRFAX NZ

An aerial view of the cathedral taken after the 2011 earthquake.

"Fundraising efforts by the GCBT report $15m intentions, but no pledges have been presented or seen," Holley wrote.

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"Therefore the only confirmed money that could go towards reinstatement is the $42m insurance money and the Government's $10m grant – a total of $52m.  This leaves a fundraising shortfall (including the cost of fundraising) of $56m.  Even if the GCBT raises $15m, the shortfall is $41m.

The cathedral in the central city is open to the elements, surrounded by tall grass and populated by pigeons.
IAIN MCGREGOR/FAIRFAX NZ

The cathedral in the central city is open to the elements, surrounded by tall grass and populated by pigeons.

"CPT policy, being followed for all of the buildings in trust with CPT, is that the money must be in hand before the repair or build begins."

The shortfall is $26m if the $15m government loan offer and the GCBT's $15m fundraising pledge are included in the calculations.

Holley said an endowment for insurance and maintenance costs of the new building would also have to be part of the fundraising.

"This amount does not include significant endowments required to pay for the ongoing maintenance of such an expensive building and also to cover the cost of full replacement insurance, which is estimated at up to $360,000 a year – this money would have to be part of the fundraising."

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GCBT co-chairman Philip Burdon said they were ready to raise the $15m. He said a fundraising plan was agreed in a working party report delivered to the Government and the CPT in November.

"If they put that agreed plan in place then we will start fundraising tomorrow morning," he said.

"We will get the money."

A spokeswoman for Brownlee could not immediately provide comment.

Brownlee wrote to Anglican Bishop Victoria Matthews on March 8 to reiterate the $25m restoration funding offer. Brownlee said Matthews wrote back on March 21 stating they were "seriously considering" the offer.

The CPT met about three weeks ago to consider the offer, but no decision was made and more external advice was requested. The advice is not expected back until at least the end of this week and discussion on the offer is on hold until then.

Two cathedral budgets:

Government

Cost: $108m (incl $4m in fundraising costs)

Government grant: $10m

Government loan: $15m

Fundraising pledge: $15m

Insurance: $42m

Shortfall: $26m

Anglican leaders

Cost: $108m (incl $4m in fundraising costs)

Government grant: $10m

Insurance: $42m

Shortfall: $56m

 - Stuff

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