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Government Must Act On Cathedral

Denis O’Rourke MP
Spokesperson for Christchurch Earthquake Issues
8 November 2012

Government Must Act On Cathedral

New Zealand First Earthquake Recovery spokesperson, Denis O’Rourke, has called on the Government to urgently address the heritage issues surrounding the restoration of buildings like the Christchurch Anglican Cathedral.

This follows Gerry Brownlee sponsoring a Bill to ensure the protection of Riccarton House at the expense of ratepayers. Mr O’Rourke points out that the Minister refuses to deal with the urgent heritage issues in the city for which he has direct responsibility.

“Minister Brownlee and CERA have the powers to ensure that buildings like the Christchurch Anglican Cathedral are preserved and ultimately restored in whole or in part.

“CERA has a draft policy on heritage buildings for Christchurch, which the Minister won’t release, yet the people want to know what this policy is – especially concerning the cathedral.”

Mr O’Rourke says Mr Brownlee is wrong in asserting that the future of the cathedral is a matter for the church.

“Like Riccarton House, there is a trust board for the cathedral. The whole Canterbury community contributed to its construction and maintenance, including a lot of ratepayer funding.

“The Minister and CERA must act now to apply the funding they have to save the cathedral and in due course to see that it is restored, at least in part.”

Mr O’Rourke wants to see the cathedral covered by an Act similar to Riccarton House so in return for Government funding, insurance and donations it will be restored and owned in trust for future generations.

“It would be a tragedy and an indictment on the Government and this generation if the cathedral was demolished for want of funding.”

ENDS

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