Govt pledges $10m to help restore heritage buildings

10:24 pm on 17 September 2010

The Government says it will contribute up to $10 million to help restore heritage buildings damaged by the Canterbury quake.

The offer has been welcomed by Christchurch mayor Bob Parker.

The Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Chris Finlayson says heritage buildings are important for Canterbury's local character.

The Government will pay dollar-for-dollar up to a maximum of $10 million to help out, though the minister admits he has no idea how big the final heritage bill will be.

Meanwhile, Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says 1700 of almost 61,000 claims have been assessed by the Earthquake Commission and the first payments made following the quake on 4 September.

Mr Brownlee says EQC is beefing up operations and there will be about 280 staff in Christchurch by Sunday.