Canterbury Heritage Awards Postponed For One Year

2020 Awards | COVID-19 Update

Important Notice

We trust you and your families are safe and well.

Because of the Covid19 pandemic the ceremony for the Box 112 Canterbury Heritage Awards 2020 to be held on Friday 12 June in the Christ’s College Dining Hall and the lecture with international and local speakers to be held on 11 June In the Gloucester Room at the Isaac Theatre Royal, are now both postponed for one year.

The revised dates are for the ceremony to be held on Friday 11 June 2021 and the lecture on Thursday 10 June 2021.

We thank you for your continued support of the awards and appreciate your understanding at this time.

We look forward to an exciting event in 2021.

(Taken from the Canterbury Heritage Awards web site.)

“Two Christchurch heritage buildings share $1.2m in ratepayer funds” The Press (Online Article 27.02.2020)

Two Christchurch heritage buildings share $1.2m in ratepayer funds The Press Online

" ...The former Livingspace building at Sol Square (96 Lichfield St) and the Design and Arts College building at 116 Worcester St have each received $600,000 toward their multimillion-dollar repairs and refurbishments. ...

“Christ Church Cathedral work could start within weeks” The Press (Online Article 15.02.2020)

Christ Church Cathedral work could start within weeks The Press Online

"... The consent application has been lodged by a joint-venture company formed by the Anglican diocese and the Crown to run the project, and they hope to start work in April. .."

Box 112 Canterbury Heritage Awards 2020 Entries Open.

Entries are now open for the Box 112 Canterbury Heritage Awards 2020. The Awards, held every two years, recognise excellence in heritage retention and conservation, heritage tourism and heritage education within the public and private sector and promote the values of best practice heritage retention and conservation to the wider community. 2020 is all the more special, as the Awards celebrate their 10th anniversary.

Projects, individuals and organisations from throughout Canterbury are encouraged to enter the awards. The 2020 Categories are:

ChristchurchNZ Supreme Award
(picked from category winners)

Warren & Mahoney Future Heritage Award

The Stephen Collins Memorial Seismic Award

Heritage New Zealand Outstanding Contribution to Heritage

Moveable Feasts Heritage Tourism Award

Public Realm Saved and Restored

Domestic Saved and Restored

Entering is easy – go to our website and fill out the online form. More information about the entry process and category criteria is available on our website or feel free to get in touch:


Key Dates:

• Entries Open – Wednesday 3 February

• Entries close – Friday 3 April

• Final judging – Saturday 11 April

• Finalists Announced – Monday 20 April

• Tickets on sale – Tuesday 21st April

• Heritage Lecture – Thursday 11 June

• Awards Ceremony – Friday 12 June

“The Town Hall story – a Christchurch dream renewed” (University Canterbury Press Media Release)

Christchurch’s proud tradition of public architecture is clear in one of the city’s favourite buildings – the Christchurch Town Hall. The city’s ‘public living room’ for hosting celebrations, concerts and civic events, the Town Hall reopened triumphantly this year after a successful campaign for its restoration.

Through the tortuous beginnings of the original project to the battle to save the complex after the earthquakes of 2010-11, a new book, published by Canterbury University Press, captures an intimate story of the Town Hall. It is fitting that former Associate Professor of Art History at UC Dr Ian Lochhead edited The Christchurch Town Hall 1965–2019: A dream renewed, since he was an early advocate of repairing and restoring the building, expressing his views in a piece titled ‘Let our public living room live again’ published in The Press on 20 March 2012.

When the facility opened to much fanfare and civic interest in 1972, the auditorium in particular was unlike anything seen in New Zealand before, Dr Lochhead explains. While Sir Miles Warren led the creative architectural team (establishing the reputation of Warren & Mahoney nationally), it was Sir Harold Marshall who was responsible for the world-class acoustics that changed the way concert halls around the world were designed from that point on.

The quality of Marshall’s acoustic design attracted performers of the calibre of Leonard Bernstein, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Carlos Santana and, just last month, renowned cellist YoYo Ma, and saw Christchurch recognised alongside the great concert halls of Vienna, Boston and Lucerne. The Philharmonie de Paris, which opened in 2015, took its design cues from the Christchurch Town Hall, to the extent that the French employed Marshall Day Acoustics, the practice established by Harold Marshall in 1981.  

Details such as this makes the book a treat for history lovers, architecture buffs and conservation advocates alike. The compelling story of the incredibly challenging restoration is recounted in chapters by Peter Marshall and John Hare and captured in photos by former UC photographer Duncan Shaw-Brown and by Olivia Spencer-Bower.   

UC returned to the Town Hall for its graduation ceremonies this year, one of many key Christchurch organisations to again use this much-loved space for their most important celebrations.

The Christchurch Town Hall 1965–2019: A dream renewed, edited by Dr Ian Lochhead, is available now in hardback edition (248pp, colour and B/W illustrations), RRP $59.99, ISBN: 978-1-98-850310-3.

Further information:

Ian Lochhead, Art History, photographed in his office, 19.2.14

Editor Ian Lochhead taught Art History at the University of Canterbury from 1981 to 2014. He has written extensively on the history of New Zealand architecture from the colonial period to the Christchurch School. His book, A Dream of Spires: Benjamin Mountfort and the Gothic Revival, was published by CUP in 1999. He was an early advocate for the restoration of the Christchurch Town Hall following the 2011 Canterbury earthquakes; his article ‘Let our public living room live again’, was published in The Press on 20 March 2012. The Society of Architectural Historians of Australia and New Zealand made him a life member in 2013.

Dr Lochhead Image: Duncan Shaw Brown


John Hare

Sir Harold Marshall

Peter Marshall

Martin Setchell

Sir Miles Warren


Duncan Shaw-Brown

Olivia Spencer-Bower

“Plan to move war memorial sparks dissent among Christchurch RSA groups” The Press Online Article

Plan to move war memorial sparks dissent among Christchurch RSA groups- the Press.

"....A proposal to move the Christchurch war memorial has been opposed by one of the largest Returned Services Association (RSA) groups in the city.

The Papanui RSA voted to oppose a plan to shift the Citizens War Memorial from Cathedral Square to Cranmer Square because the move would lower its "aesthetic, cultural and spiritual value". ...

"... Christchurch Civic Trust deputy chair Ross Gray, who is leading a campaign against the move, said the Papanui RSA vote was significant.

"The Papanui RSA is considerably larger than the Christchurch RSA," he said.

"We oppose this notion that you can move an important heritage item from Cathedral Square and stick it in another iconic and important space like Cranmer Square." ..

Ross Gray is also Deputy Chair of Historic Places Canterbury.

Protected Heritage Buildings Make Up Just 00.25% Of The Total Christchurch Building Stock

Historic Places Canterbury has data that backs strong public arguments for Heritage Retention

The following article appeared in the HPA Oculus September 2019 Newsletter.

Historic Places Canterbury (HPC) has found that only just one quarter of one percent of the total number of Christchurch Buildings have heritage protection.

Historic Places Canterbury using the Christchurch City Council data has found that scheduled Heritage Buildings (under the District Plan) make up a risible and paltry 00.25% of the total number of Christchurch Buildings.

In the Christchurch Central Business District we found the Heritage Buildings make up just 5.5% of the total number of buildings. (This percentage will drop significantly as new buildings are built on the empty sites.)

HPC considers that having such statistics is a great public talking point in any Public Debate about Built Heritage.

Firstly, we can authoritatively refute any claims, made or implied, that there are too many heritage buildings being protected. It would be hard to argue 00.25% is anything but a very small number.

Secondly, we can argue that as we have so few protected Heritage Buildings, authorities and developers should be protecting them as they are quantifiably rare in number. Taking as an example the CBD with 5.5% being Heritage Buildings means that 94% of the Buildings have no protection and can be developed.

Thirdly, we can argue that as the number and percentage is so low and are qualitatively rare, the Christchurch City Council and Heritage New Zealand should be vigorously defending any attempts to demolish protected Built Heritage.

Fourthly, as our Built Heritage is so scarce, the Christchurch City Council (and HNZ) should be making a real effort to add suitable Heritage Buildings to the District Plan for protection HPC respectfully suggests that Historic Places Aotearoa's Membership Organisations conduct a similar exercise.

Such statistics (or raw numbers) can be used to rebut the Developers’ public arguments against protecting a heritage building as it shows there is often a local abundance of unprotected buildings they can focus on and leave the precious few Heritage Buildings alone.

In addition using a specific local statistic provides a strong argument as to why local councils (and Heritage New Zealand) should be working harder to protect and save unequalled local heritage at hearings etc and by increasing the number of buildings being scheduled/listed.

If local statistics were collated, these local percentages provide great arguments for HPA and its Membership Organisations to lobby MPs and Councillors. Heritage Buildings are quantifiably rare treasures so they should have more protection and we should not be complacent in increasing the number which are protected.

It is also worth noting, it appears, based on the Christchurch numbers, that despite being a very small percentage of the total number of Buildings, Listed Heritage has a (huge) disproportionate influence on our Tourism marketing and City/Town/District's marketing identity and branding.

The following are the raw numbers for Christchurch:Christchurch has scheduled 573 Heritage Buildings from a total of 22,3927 Christchurch Buildings in Total (within its TLA boundary) i.e. 0.25%

The Christchurch CBD has 127 Scheduled Heritage Buildings.The Christchurch CBB has in total 2,579 Buildings ie only 5.5% are protected.