"Colmar Brunton recently completed a Research Poll of 1000 Christchurch residents to determine the preference and attitudes of Christchurch residents after lengthy debate between restoration advocates and the Anglican Church..."
"Although the Anglican Church may officially own the Christchurch Cathedral, 77% of Christchurch residents believe they should have a say about its future."
"68% of Christchurch residents believe that restoration would boost the morale of Christchurch residents."
The Media Release is as follows:
28 October 2014 Great Christchurch
Box 23, Christchurch
Embargoed for broadcast or transmission till 6.00 am on Friday 31 October
CHRISTCHURCH CATHEDRAL – Research says restoration
The fate of Christchurch Cathedral has become a subject of real concern to the residents of Christchurch, a view that will challenge the owners of the Christchurch Cathedral to seriously reconsider their decision to demolish this iconic building to make way for a new Cathedral.
Colmar Brunton recently completed a Research Poll of 1000 Christchurch residents to determine the preference and attitudes of Christchurch residents after lengthy debate between restoration advocates and the Anglican Church.
- Based on no other information than the High Court ruling that a Cathedral must be built on the current site, the majority, 51%, of Christchurch residents, believe a Cathedral should be restored vs. 43% preferring demolition.
- Given the scenario of the costs of restoration or replacement being approximately the same and private donations rather than ratepayer donations meeting the funds needed after insurance cover, the majority preferring restoration increases significantly to 66% vs 30% preferring demolition.
- Although the Anglican Church may officially own the Christchurch Cathedral, 77% of Christchurch residents believe they should have a say about its future.
- 68% of Christchurch residents believe that restoration would boost the morale of Christchurch residents.
- 86% of respondents still believe the Cathedral is a vital part of Christchurch’s history and heritage, despite its presently damaged condition.
- 92% of Christchurch residents believe that Christchurch Cathedral has always been a vital part of Christchurch’s history and heritage.
Preferences among Anglican respondents were evenly divided.
From a sample of 238 Anglican respondents (as a subset of the 1000 total respondents) 50% wanted demolition vs 43% in favour of restoration – based only on the information that the High Court had ruled that a Cathedral must be built on the Page 2 of 2
present site. However, on this smaller sample the difference in these percentages is not statistically significant at the standard 95% confidence level.
Given the scenario of the costs of restoring the Christchurch Cathedral or of demolishing and building a new Cathedral being approximately the same, and the costs of restoration being met by private donations and not ratepayer donations, 60% of Anglican respondents prefer restoration vs. 36% preferring demolition.
This difference is statistically significant in favour of restoration.
Co-Chairs of the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust, Jim Anderton and Philip Burdon say, “We hope that the results of this poll will be a catalyst for the Church leadership, the Government, Minister Brownlee and CERA, together with the Mayor of Christchurch and her Council to acknowledge the strongly held views of the majority of our citizens.
The Research Poll strongly indicates that there should be a rethink of the path to demolition, which seems to be the only one that Church Authorities are following at present.
We would point to the magnificent achievement of the Arts Centre, a $300M restoration project of the one of the foundation buildings of the internationally regarded Gothic Complex, which includes the Museum, The Arts Centre, The Provincial Chambers and the Christchurch Cathedral. The Arts Centre was at least as damaged as the Cathedral and its quiet and determined restoration provides a model that the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust would advocate should be followed by the Cathedral itself.
We are hopeful that all parties with significant interest in decisions involving the future of the Cathedral would be willing to enter a constructive dialogue to achieve an outcome that meets the aspirations of both the Church and the residents of Christchurch.”
Colmar Brunton Poll conducted interviewing between September 29 and 7 October 2014. All interviews were conducted by telephone using random digit dialing within the Christchurch City Council region. Respondents were defined as Christchurch City resident’s aged 15 and over. The sample was post-weighted by age, gender and household size according to the 2013 Census profile for this region.
A total sample of n=1,000 was achieved which has a maximum margin for error of +/-3.1% at a 95% confidence interval.
Jim Anderton, Co-Chair of the GCBT
Philip Burdon, Co-Chair of GCBT
Jeremy Todd, Colmar Brunton
(for comment on any aspect of the methodology used in the conduct of the poll)