Our disappearing city centre

REBUILD BOSS: Warwick Isaacs.
REBUILD BOSS: Warwick Isaacs.

The demolition of central Christchurch continues, with more than 800 buildings already razed and many more still to come down.


A total of 1350 buildings have been partly or fully demolished in the city centre since the September 2010 earthquake, including 307 buildings taken down by Civil Defence.

Demolition is underway on 58 buildings, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) figures show.

Demolition is slated for Te Waipounamu House in Hereford St, Majestic House in Manchester St, the ANZ building in Colombo St and Landsborough House in Durham St.

Demolition is under way on the PricewaterhouseCoopers building, the Farmers parking building, the Holiday Inn, the Westpac building and Clarendon Tower.

Ngai Tahu's former headquarters in Hereford St, Te Waipounamu House, is owned by the Pandey family, which owns hotels around New Zealand.

The building is being stripped in preparation for demolition.Several buildings are inside the eastern frame outlined in the central-city blueprint. The frame is designed to control the amount of development land available in the central business district and extends eastward from Manchester St to Madras St.

Majestic House is inside the eastern frame and the land will be acquired by Cera. The art deco building was completed in 1930 and was a cinema until 1970 before being turned into a nightclub and then a base for the Majestic Church.

Senior minister Leo Hanssen said the church would look for new land in the city centre.

"We had already got to the point where the building was going to be demolished before the Cera land acquisition," he said.

"It is like a blank canvas now. It is an opportunity to do something fresh and different.

"We would like to do something as close to the city centre as possible."

The city council is in talks with Cera over the future of the Manchester St parking building, which is also inside the eastern frame.

Cera is also in purchase negotiations with the owners of the Oaks Smartstay building on the corner of Liverpool and Cashel streets.

The future of many central-city buildings is uncertain as owners negotiate with insurers and engineers assess damage.

Lawyers acting for the owners of the Hotel All Seasons in Cashel St said no decision had been made on the building.

"The position is that the damage assessment work, costing and insurance claim process are still continuing in respect of the building. The owners have not taken any decision on the fate of the building," said Minter Ellison Rudd Watts Lawyers partner Paul Foley.



❏ Demolitions under way - 58.

Demolitions completed - 862.

Partial demolitions completed - 181.

Partly or fully demolished by Civil Defence - 307.

Total partly or fully demolished - 1350.

Three months ago:

❏ Demolitions under way - 103.

Demolitions completed - 734.

Partial demolitions completed - 173.

Partly or fully demolished by Civil Defence - 307.

Total party or fully demolished - 1214.

Six months ago:

❏ Demolitions under way - 69.

Demolitions completed - 636.

Partial demolitions completed - 154.

Partly or fully demolished by Civil Defence - 303.

Total partly or fully demolished - 1093.

The Press