Work has begun on building Christchurch's "cardboard cathedral" with the pouring of the concrete foundation.
The construction began at 4am on Monday and about 50 people attended an early breakfast to mark the event.
The cathedral, being built on the site of the former St John's church in Latimer Square, is intended as a temporary replacement for the Anglican cathedral, which is being demolished in Cathedral Square.
However, the specifications for the project are aimed at making it last at least 50 years.
The director of construction company Naylor Love, Scott Watson, says the concrete slab will be covered while it cures and work will begin to prepare the distinctive cardboard tubes and other components for the building.
He expects the cathedral to be a landmark building, with its different construction materials and technology.
"It's quite a unique construction and it's become a little bit of an icon in terms of the rebuild as well."
Marketing and development Manager for Christchurch Cathedral, Craig Dixon, says the new church is built to top specifications and is expected to serve the people of Christchurch for many decades.