The following is the text of the Public Forum Presentation given by the Chair of HPC to the Christchurch City Council.
CCC Public Forum Presentation: Christchurch Town Hall (and the Arches)
Deputy Mayor and Councillors
Thank You for allowing Historic Places Canterbury (HPC) to make this Public Forum Presentation.
HPC wishes to offer our congratulations and express our appreciation to the Councillors, past and present, the Council Staff, Engineers, Acoustic Engineers Architects and related Building Professionals, Hawkins and the Sub Contractors for their efforts in the successful restoration and enhancement of the Christchurch Town Hall. Our Town Hall!
HPC wishes to acknowledge the efforts of Sir Miles Warren, Maurice Mahoney Dr Ian Lochhead, Dr Jessica Halliday, and the many individuals and groups who made Deputations, wrote letters to remind us why the Town Hall’s restoration is important to our city. The Town Hall is special and we await for Dr Ian Lochhead to inform us how special it really is when his book is released.
HPC wishes to draw the attention of the Councillors to the CCC Staff (and Hawkins) whose actions will be not be widely known but for whom HPC is appreciative. From Senior Managers down there was a concerted effort to ensure the Heritage Advocates were briefed on the work as it progressed and gave explanations on how the buildings heritage features and interior objects would be retained and restored. As Chair of HPC I have been on three tours to view the progress of the work. On numerous occasions CCC Managers have introduced themselves to me. They have been informative, discrete, inclusive and attentive to the details- the CCC at its best.
HPC would like to draw the Councillors attention and commend another CCC Staff initiative. The asphalting of the Arches and Landscaping of their surroundings.
We now have a weatherproof path connecting the CBD and Victoria Street via the Arches and Victoria Square. CERA proposed a permanent pathway in their Victoria Square Restoration Consultation. For reasons unknown nothing eventuated until the Council Staff took the initiative. The CCC Staff organised the asphalting and landscaping. It is a great outcome that Councillors I am sure you will agree with
HPC asks that while we celebrate the Town Hall opening we should continue bragging about our Heritage in our Civic Discourse. We have much to be proud of: The Christchurch Town Hall, the Isaac Theatre Royal, the Arts Cente, Provincial Council Buildings, we are the home of the Hamilton jet, Rutherford's University, Kate Shepherd and the campaigners for the votes for women, the Brazier Brothers responsible for the first commercial top dressing drop, McDougal's gift of an Art Gallery, Thomas Edmunds expression of gratitude by gifting us the Poplars, Band Rotunda and Clock Tower , Ell's vision of the Port Hills that is still as relevant today and the Great Christchurch Public Debates to name a few. It is a heritage we should be celebrating in our everyday conversation and public discourse
Finally to close HPC notes the individual moments are as important as the great civic events, the Town Hall joins the Isaac Theatre Royal the Great Hall of the Arts Centre and our heritage buildings where the individual magic is recreated. At every citizenship ceremony , Christchurch School of Music Concert, University Graduation the Town Hall will recreate the individual magic again and again and again.
Thank You Councillors.
Chair Historic Places Canterbury