8 Mar 2017

$443k spent on cathedral working group, with no result

4:35 pm on 8 March 2017

Figures show the government spent $443,400 on a working group looking at the restoration of the quake damaged Christ Church Cathedral, but its fate has still not been agreed upon.

The Christ Church Cathedral has been abandoned for almost six years.

The fate of Christ Church Cathedral has been in question since the February 2011 earthquake, with parties at an impasse over whether it should be demolished or restored. Photo: 123rf.com

In December 2015, the Anglican Church and the government announced a working group would be set up to break the impasse between the two parties.

The group's five appointed members Steve Wakefield, Roger Bridge, Geoff Dangerfield, Sue McKenzie and Alasdair Cassels met for the first time in June last year.

Information released to RNZ under the Official Information Act found nearly half of the costs associated with the Christ Church Cathedral Work Group - $212,700 - was spent on consultants, including engineers and architects.

Other costs included:

  • $59,800 spent on fund-raising experts, researching the viability and planning for the substantial fund-raising drive required for the rebuild of the cathedral.
  • $15,200 for virtual data room to allow working group members and consultants to securely share large files of a technical nature.
  • $35,300 for a part-time communications advisor to support the group with all its communications needs.
  • $49,600 on legal fees.
  • $63,800 for the working group members (two of the five members did not claim fees for work undertaken).
  • $6900 on travel.

The group reported back to Christchurch Rebuild Minister Gerry Brownlee with a way forward in December but the two parties are still in a deadlock.