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Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration Nicky Wagner is today reiterating her commitment to finding an agreed solution for the ChristChurch Cathedral by releasing an offer of reinstatement.

“The Cathedral sits at the very heart of Christchurch — it’s the city’s namesake, an icon, a place of worship, a community facility, a tourist attraction and a beloved heritage building,” Ms Wagner says.

“This offer builds on the Cathedral Working Group Recommendation Report, released last month, which recommended reinstatement at an estimated cost of $104 million.

“This not about favouring reinstatement over restoration or a contemporary new-build. It’s about finding a way forward that doesn’t leave everyone tied up in court for five to 10 years.

“I’ve presented the offer to Bishop Victoria Matthews and she’s agreed to take it to the Synod in September.”

The offer includes:

Crown cash contribution of $10 million; Crown-funded interest free suspensory loan of $15 million. Repayment of the loan will be suspended and forgiven if the loan conditions are fulfilled; Christchurch City Council grant of $10 million — subject to public consultation; Great Christchurch Buildings Trust pledge of $13.7 million; An independent Fundraising Trust; Legislation to streamline project consenting and approval processes; and A Joint Venture between the Church Property Trust and the Fundraising Trust to govern and manage the project.

“All up, with contributions from the Government, the Council, and the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust, as well as the church’s insurance proceeds of $42 million, we have about $90 million — enough to complete the Cathedral and Ancillary Buildings,” Ms Wagner says.

“This offer gives the Bishop and the Synod a clear and detailed option for consideration, and provides some security and certainty, particularly around funding.

“The Government contribution is a significant amount of money, but we need to balance the property rights of the church with the historical value of the building and the need to break this deadlock.

“About half of Christchurch wants to see the Cathedral reinstated, the other half wants a modernised version or a contemporary new-build, but really, everyone just needs a decision. It’s time to move forward, and I think this is our best option.”

For more information, and to read the offer document, visit: http://www.ccwg.org.nz/

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