Few of Christchurch's heritage buildings to be rebuilt

10:49 pm on 5 March 2011

The Minister for Earthquake Recovery says only four of Christchurch's historic, landmark buildings damaged in the earthquake are likely to be rebuilt.

Gerry Brownlee says the Christchurch Cathedral, the Catholic Basilica, the Provincial Chambers and the Arts Centre should be restored, and possibly a few others.

Mr Brownlee says it must be decided responsibly what the heritage of Christchurch will be.

He says they need to look at what is possible in the historic precinct that runs from cathedral down to the museum, breaking off at the provincial chambers.

"The rest, I'm sorry they've killed people, and the chances of them getting any future is to say the least bleak", he says.

Mr Brownlee says that if it was up to him he would have the buildings demolished, because although they were a part of Christchurch's history, they have no place in its future.

He says any historic buildings will be rebuilt with a great deal of strengthening.

Mr Brownlee says it could be three months before a geo-technical survey of Christchurch is completed and land damage is properly assessed.

He says an extensive analysis of land damaged by the 4 September earthquake will now have to be started again from scratch.

Mr Brownlee says the analysis could show some land can no longer support existing buildings and infrastructure.

He says land has to settle before issues regarding its bearing capacity can be assessed.

The dean of Christchurch Cathedral, the Very Reverend Peter Beck, says little thought has been given to a possible rebuilding of the cathedral.

He says there has been no technical consideration yet about whether any of the existing building can be saved.

Dean Beck says buttressing is holding up the church's west wall and an in-depth engineering report on the building will be prepared in due course.