"...Historic Places Canterbury chairman Mark Gerrard believes the council is doing a good job with its damaged heritage, and is being "very thorough" with its tendering process.
He says the council benefits by having some "really good staff" who listen to the community and take pride in the buildings.
Some are of the sites are harder than others to find a use for, and some are better suited to community rather than commercial use, Gerrard says.
"They are very very special buildings. We are very happy that they are safe and they are going to be restored - the council is weighing up what is best for them and finding an appropriate use.
"Their value is not just the architecture, each one has its own individual stories, they are a reminder of people who have come before us," says Gerrard.
He believes Harry Ell, the naturalist whose vision established the Sign of the Takahe and Sign of the Kiwi as Port Hills rest stops, would approve of today's walkers and cyclists enjoying hospitality in the buildings.
"People need to be able to see them. They are our buildings, they are our gems, our treasures."
The following is the text of a letter published in The Press. The letter was sent by HPC Chair Mark Gerrard in his role as Convenor of “Victoria Square - No Need For Change" campaign committee.
" The re-opening of a restored Victoria Square will be celebrated by the many Christchurch Residents who supported the successful “Victoria Square- No Need For Change” campaign.
I am writing this letter to publicly “Thank” the many concerned residents who wrote letters to the Press, rang ZB Talkback, emailed their MPs, turned up for the Yellow Ribbon Picnic and attended the Knox Church Forum. I wish to acknowledge the “No Need For Change” committee, the volunteers, the residents who encouraged us, the Knox Forum panellists and Chris Lynch, and Historic Places Canterbury and The Christchurch Civic Trust who funded the campaign.
Whilst we celebrate the re-opening, we must all acknowledge the skill and thoughtfulness of the original Designers who, 30 odd years ago, created this very special space we know and love as Victoria Square.
Victoria Square is “Christchurch at its best” and it sets the standard for which the quality and success of the CBD rebuild will be judged.
The re-opening will be a momentus event. However, for most of us Victoria Square is about the quiet enjoyment of reclining under a tree, sitting on a park bench and stopping at night to enjoy the Bowker Fountain water display and the light show.