British rich-lister wants cathedral restored
One of Britain's richest men wants the Anglican Church to hand over the restoration of the Christchurch Cathedral to the people of Canterbury.
In 2011 Hamish Ogston pledged $4 million to the restoration of the iconic Cathedral Square building after being moved by a documentary of the February 2011 earthquake.
Ogston said "a small sum" of $15 million was needed for the full restoration of the cathedral. Insurance payments and various grants and donations made up the rest of the $67 million restoration.
He said he would fund an independent survey of residents to find out what people wanted to see happen to the cathedral.
Ogston was speaking at the Christchurch City Council building this morning alongside Mayor Lianne Dalziel and co-chairmen of the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust, Jim Anderton and Philip Burdon.
''There should be a foundation set up, which will take over the reconstruction of the cathedral, independent of the Anglican church, but with their cooperation,'' he said.
The foundation would be headed by a ''group of people who can ensure the cathedral is restored quickly and returned to the Anglican Church on completion''.
Dalziel told reporters she had "the sense that the church is willing to talk".
"If the people of Christchurch send a strong message it will help the conversation."
The survey would be carried out within the next two to three weeks.