5 Dec 2017

Special orders to fast-track cathedral rebuild

From The House, 10:35 pm on 5 December 2017

A bill with special powers to enable the rebuild of the Christ Church Cathedral has had its first reading in the House.

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Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

The cathedral was largely destroyed by the Christchurch earthquakes  in February 2011 and has remained cordoned off in the city centre ever since.

After years of debate and court action over whether to rebuild or demolish the cathedral, all the major players have agreed a course of action for its reconstruction which is where the Christ Church Cathedral Reinstatement Bill comes in.

The Bill will allow the Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Megan Woods, to bypass pesky laws that might otherwise slow down the process.

This will be done via Orders in Council; these are directions from the Executive Council (which is cabinet ministers with the Governor General) which are signed off by the Governor General.

During its first reading in the House MPs showed unanimous support for the Bill with members from all sides lauding the importance of the cathedral and acknowledging efforts made so far.