13 Jun 2017

58% back Christchurch cathedral restoration - survey

11:18 am on 13 June 2017

A new survey shows 58 percent of Cantabrians want to see Christchurch's cathedral reinstated.

Christchurch cathedral.

Christ Church Cathedral was badly damaged in the 2011 earthquake. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

The research has been done by the Anglican Church Property Trustees (CPT).

It comes ahead of a vote by its synod in September over whether the city's most famous building should be reinstated or demolished to make way for a new cathedral.

Read the full survey results here

Bishop Victoria Matthews said the survey would help to inform members of the synod, made up of elected members and clergy, when they cast their vote.

"How much this will impact, I suspect a lot of people will have strong opinions already. When they read this they may change, or they may not. I think the consistent surprise I've had is how much the opinion is split."

Bishop Matthews said it was important to note that when respondents were informed of the increased cost of reinstatement, as opposed to a new building, support for repairing the cathedral fell to 43 percent.

CPT General Manager Gavin Holley said that the overwhelming message received was that people want something done soon.

"There is no evidence of an 'overwhelming desire' for the Cathedral to be reinstated, as has been claimed by some parties. Instead, when people are better informed, their preferences change.

"The 'informed choice' result shows the community is almost evenly split on new build versus reinstatement.

"The survey clearly showed the importance of an informed choice," said Mr Holley.

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