Bishop’s decision to demolish the Basilica, the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Christchurch- Historic Places Canterbury Media Release

Historic Places Canterbury Media Release: 

5thAugust  2019

Bishop’s decision to demolish the Basilica, the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Christchurch-

Mark Gerrard Chair of Historic Places Canterbury:

“Historic Places Canterbury is very disappointed to hear that Bishop Martin has chosen to demolish one of our finest neo-Classical Buildings.”

“The Basilica is one of New Zealand’s most iconic and beautiful neo-classical buildings.”

“George Bernard Shaw preferred the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Christchurch to our Christ Church Cathedral.”

“Historic Places Canterbury is surprised the Bishop appears to have lost faith in the cost of restoration of this unique beautiful heritage building”

“The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Christchurch has for many generations been a beacon of faith and inspiration. Today we are left with the impression that cost and location are more important considerations.”

"Christchurch has lost many special heritage buildings under the CERA Section 38. CERA’s legacy still lives as it is being used to demolish a heritage building and bypass the RMA. "

Mark Gerrard
Chair Historic Places Canterbury

“Fight looming for Catholic church over decision to demolish Christchurch’s Catholic cathedral” The Press Online

"Fight looming for Catholic church over decision to demolish Christchurch's Catholic cathedral" The Press Online

"Heritage advocates are vowing to fight a decision to demolish Christchurch's historic Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. ..."

" ... The decision has upset heritage advocate Anna Crighton, who said there was outrage in the community and she was ready to fight for the building's survival. ..."

" ...Her stance was supported by Historic Places Canterbury. 

Chairman Mark Gerrard said the organisation would be exploring all means to fight the proposed demolition. 

"Historic Places Canterbury is surprised the bishop appears to have lost faith in the cost of restoration of this unique beautiful heritage building."

The cathedral had been a beacon of faith and inspiration for many generations, he said.

"Today we are left with the impression that cost and location are more important considerations." ...

https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/114751340/a-fight-is-looming-over-the-decision-to-demolish-christchurchs-catholic-cathedral

"Cash donated to Christchurch Catholics not ring-fenced for heritage church restoration" The Press online article.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/114798349/cash-donated-to-christchurch-catholics-not-ringfenced-for-heritage-church-restoration

“Heritage Buildings and Sites Reference Group” Historic Places Canterbury Public Forum Submission to The Social, Community Development and Housing Committee Christchurch City Council

Historic Places Canterbury Public Forum Submission to

The Social, Community Development and Housing Committee 

Christchurch City Council

31 July 2019

Councillors,

Thank You for hearing our Public Forum Submission

Historic Places Canterbury (HPC) wishes to request that the CCC set up what we are provisionally calling a "Heritage Buildings and Sites Reference Group”.

HPC considers a Reference group with appropriately qualified individuals would be useful for the CCC Staff and Councillors wishing to seek advice from those with heritage expertise.

It could be useful for a number of roles such as:

  1. Advising on the Provincial Council Buildings (replacing its defunct(?) Advisory Group), 
  2. Review of Policies for District Plan Statements of Significance etc.
  3. Peer reviewing the work done for the District Plan,  
  4. Heritage Buildings under EOI. The Reference Group would be useful for providing feedback/comment on the development plans where seeking public comment is precluded under the Tendering Process.
  5. Provide independent advice to the Councillors
  6. Provide commentary where a full Engagement or Consultation is not practical or where expert advice is sought.

HPC wishes to nominate Dr Ian Lochhead,  Dr Anna Crighton,  Dr Lynne Lochhead, Katharine Watson and a Ngai Tahu representative as members of the Heritage Buildings and Sites Reference Group.

Forming such a Group would be an implementation of the much lauded CCC Heritage Strategy where there is recognition of the importance of the heritage expertise held in the community.

HPC notes the success of the Victoria Square Reference Group where the Plan was refined after Consultation and the feedback/comment was sought on the Design decisions etc in the restoration / construction. 

(The CCC you will recall recommended the Group be kept so it could have a role in the restoration work.)

Mark Gerrard
Chair Historic Places Canterbury

“Christchurch’s Antonio Hall ravaged by fire as heritage fans fear ‘demolition by neglect'” The Press Online

"Christchurch's Antonio Hall ravaged by fire as heritage fans fear 'demolition by neglect' " The Press Online

" ... Ross Gray, deputy chairman of Christchurch Civic Trust and Historic Places Canterbury, said the mansion's potential destruction was "very sad to see". ...

" The building had a lot of potential as a significant asset for the city. All credit to the local neighbours for the work they have done to try and preserve it." ...

https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/114210871/antonio-hall-ablaze-in-christchurch

CPT to receive re-allocated heritage money from Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust for Cenotaph relocation – MEDIA STATEMENT FROM CCT, RCC, HPC, ICON 10.07.19

MEDIA STATEMENT FROM CCT, RCC, HPC, ICON 10.07.19 

 The Christchurch Civic Trust, Restore Christchurch Cathedral Group Inc, Historic Places Canterbury and ICON are shocked and appalled that part of the re-allocated fund of at least $1.5m for heritage from the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust has been awarded to the Anglican Church Property Trustees (CPT) for the relocation of the undamaged Citizens’ War Memorial. 

 At a CCC full council meeting on 27.09.18 these organisations presented vigorous opposition to the proposed Cenotaph relocation (presentations attached) and maintain their opposition. 

 To award uncontested for a purpose yet to be scrutinised through a required public consent procedure shows an arrogant disregard for process and transparency which threatens to undermine the existing goodwill and support for the Cathedral’s restoration. 

 It appears possible that a decision to provide CPT with assistance to remove the Cenotaph from its land was in fact made privately many months ago: if so, this demands the closest public scrutiny. 

 The attached submissions show that the Citizens’ War Memorial is an incredibly significant protected public monument and legally and morally cannot be subject to the whim of either the CPT or the RSA. 

 Note: the conditions set by the CCC for submissions to present deputations on the relocation of the Cenotaph strongly excluded discussion about potential relocation sites (even although the RSA had clearly and publicly already made its preference for Cranmer Square widely known): this is why the attached submissions do not refer to locations – Cranmer Square in particular – much as the submitters had wanted to at the time! 

Ross Gray Deputy Chair Christchurch Civic Trust and Historic Places Canterbury

Mark Belton Co-Chair Restore Christchurch Cathedral Group Inc

Neil Roberts Immediate Past Chair ICON

“Earthquake donations earmarked for Christchurch cenotaph removal” The Press (Online Article)

Historic Places Canterbury Chair Ross Gray quoted.

"... Heritage advocates say removing the cenotaph from its original site would affect its internationally-recognised heritage status. "We would vehemently oppose any move to Cranmer Square," said Ross Gray, deputy chair of Christchurch Civic Trust and Historic Places Canterbury. ..."

https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/the-rebuild/114160742/earthquake-donations-earmarked-for-christchurch-cenotaph-removal

NZ Archaeological Week 2019 : The Canterbury events

Kaikoura

Christchurch

You view the full program at the following link:
https://nzarchaeology.org/news-events/national-archaeology-week

Historic Places Submission: Braided Rivers building proposed occupation of legal road in Cathedral Square

Historic Places Canterbury made the following Submission to the CCC.

Historic Places Canterbury is concerned at the impact of the proposed canopy on:

  1. the heritage values of the square and
  2. the effective privatisation of a public space represented by the 6.9 metre encroachment in to the square
  3. as well as the impact of the proposal on the lime trees, which form part of the heritage fabric of the square, .

Although both the heritage consultant for the applicant and the Council's heritage advisor for the Council consider that the impact of the canopy on the heritage of the square is minor. Historic Places Canterbury disagrees.

Although having a building returned to this site is important for re-delinineating the form of the cruciform maltese cross, which is an essential aspect of the heritage of the square, by projecting 6.9 meters beyond the building line, this design effectively muddies the form. The Spark building proposed for the opposite side of Colombo Street adheres to the building line, so the canopy will create a visual anomaly.

It has been argued that there is precedent for verandahs projecting into the space of the square and this is certainly true. However, the height and scale of this design makes it quite different in its impact. The United Services hotel had a verandah projecting immediately above the ground floor. Viewing the building from the Square, the several stories above were what defined the edge of the cross form. The supporting columns for verandahs were also typically fine with limited impact upon the pavement, whereas these, to judge from the plan, are bulky and quite intrusive. Traditional verandah were clearly an add-on to the building and were not read as something which extended the building into the realm of public space, whereas this integrated canopy impinges on public space and by implication privatises it.

This effect is emphasised by the presence of the columns occupying space in the legal road. It will be the perception of members of the public that the space below the canopy is effectively that of the adjacent building.

Historic Places Canterbury is concerned, that not only does this proposal impinge upon the heritage of the Square, but that it will set a precedent for further intrusion into the public space of the Square. While we recognise the desirability of activity around the edges of the Square, this proposal, by creating a permanent structure which is an integral part of the building design, goes well beyond a license to put out tables and chairs.

In fact, Historic Places Canterbury is surprised that a design which intrudes to such an extent into the premier heritage space of the city, was treated as a non-notified resource consent, with the opportunity to comment only arising from the technicality that it intrudes onto a legal road.

The proposed canopy extends right up to the existing tree line of the 3 lime trees adjacent to the building. The Council arborist has indicated that these have not yet reached maturity and could double in size. It is accepted that these will require clearance pruning for construction of the verandah and ongoing maintenance pruning. The beauty of the lime trees lies in its symmetrical form. This will be severely compromised if constant pruning is required on the building side of the tree. Indeed it is not difficult to foresee that the ongoing cost of this work and the problem of leaf litter caused by the trees will before long result in pressure for their removal. Were this to happen it would be a significant loss of public amenity. If consent were to be granted,

Historic Places Canterbury believes that the Council should be responsible for the pruning to ensure that the best possible job is done, with the cost to be borne by the building owner. However, we believe that the impact of this design on the trees is such that at the very least, the canopy needs to be scaled back. Although we consider that building is an attractive addition to the city, we believe that the overhanging canopy element of the design needs to be reconsidered.

Christchurch City Council Draft Annual Plan 2019-2020- Submission From Historic Places Canterbury

Christchurch City Council Draft Annual Plan 2019-2020

Submission from Historic Places Canterbury

Mayors and Councillors;

Thank You for the opportunity to make this Submission.

Historic Places Canterbury (HPC) requests the Councillors pass on our appreciation of the efforts and application of the Council Heritage Team. 

They have worked hard ensuring the Stakeholders and Residents were kept informed and HPC considers the recently adopted Heritage Strategy to be a credit to them and the Council as a whole.

In addition, we request the Councillors pass on our appreciation of Richie Moyle and his team in their ongoing efforts in restoring and repairing the Councils Heritage Buildings. Highlights in the past year include the reopening of the Nurse’s Memorial Chapel and Historic Rose Chapel.

Historic Places Canterbury wishes to acknowledge the passing of the heritage stalwart Pam Wilson. Her passing is a loss to us all.

HPC in addition wishes to acknowledge the efforts and achievements of the recently retired Dave Hinman who served this Council for 50 years.

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