What will Prince Charles say about Chch demolitions?

WILL HARVIE
Last updated 09:16 22/06/2012

Prince Charles and Camilla will visit New Zealand in November and it defies belief that the royal couple will skip Christchurch.

What might the Prince - a well-known advocate of heritage architecture and future Defender of the Anglican Faith - say about demolitions in Christchurch?

It's exquisitely delicate, of course, because royals are banned from making political statements and there are plenty of political arguments flying over the demolitions of Christ Church Cathedral, Canterbury's Gothic Revival and Victorian heritage buildings.

But we know the Prince is concerned about Christchurch heritage demolitions because his senior architecture and planning adviser, Hank Dittmar, recently wrote to a NZ heritage campaigner: "We share your concern that the devastation brought about by the earthquake will be further compounded by short-sighted decision-making over Christchurch's heritage ...  I will be following developments, and the future of the cathedral, with interest."

Moreover, the Queen has already grilled Prime Minister John Key about decisions in Christchurch.

So, what are the chances the Prince will break constitutional conventions and speak out publicly about the devastation wrought by man? C'mon Charles, be yourself.

Unfortunately, the king-in-waiting has been avoiding this sort of thing for decades. The best we can probably hope is that Charles gives CERA supremo Roger Sutton Anglican Bishop Victoria Matthews, and Earthquake Minister Gerry Brownlee a right bollocking, in private.

It won't make any difference. Sutton and company have the fortitude to withstand the annoyance of a powerless prince.

But here's hoping Charles endorses the Avon Okataro Network (AvON) plan for a great park and wetland through the red zone suburbs  and it's logical tail, a bike and walking track along the estuary and sea from Ferrymead Bridge to Scarborough, as proposed by Christchurch Coastal Pathway.

These projects are almost  uncontroversial (except perhaps inside Brownlee's head) and maybe Charles' mana can make them inevitable. Over to you, Prince Charles.

- The Press

7 comments
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RexN   #1   01:06 pm Jun 27 2012

What will Prince Charles say about Chch demolitions?

And I'm supposed to care because...?

grizzlyganymede   #2   09:12 pm Jun 29 2012

If Chas should happen to give anyone "a right bollocking in private" the best reply will be to politely remind him of our country's delicate financial straits before most respectfully informing him where the donation box is - and I'm not kidding. That ought to shut him up. Of course it would be necessary to ensure there is a donation box prominently displayed in the presumably pre-selected venue.

Leon de Graff   #3   05:07 pm Jun 30 2012

Here is another thinly disguised rant on the demolition of the cathedral. There are a lot of people who need to get over it. Think ahead, plan a beautiful replacement. Some of the most wonderful churches in the world took longer to build than the Christchurch one had existed. Barcelona has one currently but slowly being built. Think of the Christchurch situation as a rethink, a change of direction, think positively. Stop moaning....please. How come I dont hear anything about the Catholic Cathedral which was a much more impressive building? Let us all concentrate on making Christchurch, AS A WHOLE, a world class destination with architecture and facilities, including churches to be proud of. Think ahead not behind.

JessL   #4   03:40 pm Jul 02 2012

@ RexN #1 - AGREED

Prince Charles doesn't have to live here and deal with the risk of those "pretty" buildings collapsing around us in the next shake.

Calista   #5   06:58 pm Jul 02 2012

"It's a pity about the buildings - but can I make a contribution to help those living in cars" Yeah, Right1

paulus seyha   #6   08:17 pm Jul 07 2012

Fine words Leon,my sentiments exactly.Stop whinging Christchurch,and really who gives a damn about whether Prince Charles cares or not?Come on people,wake up to reality...the past is not our city's future.

Sarah Abercrombie   #7   12:00 pm Jul 16 2012

I agree grizzlyganymede; it's amazing that NZ, is being asked to fund another tax payer, visit by the Royal Snobs; of our Commonwealth. I have never really liked; Prince Charlie; and his wife Camilla, after the death of Princess Diana. Our country is in huge debt; and a rockn'rolling; and all he will do, is, visit, make comments; and then leave to his warm, secure palace. Once again leaving; the country I left; for greener pastures ($$$) with two kiwi kids & had,an aussie one; for Australia. And the NZ Taxpayer; will pick up his Tab! He is a bit like a rouge Pollie.! But we let him get away with it every time!?

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