The local governing authority for the New Zealand City of Christchurch has launched a consultation on how to fund its $10 million NZD (approximately £5.36 million GBP) share of the re-build costs for the city’s cathedral. Christ Church Cathedral was severely damaged in an earthquake in 2011. Diocesan plans to replace the cathedral were delayed by unsuccessful legal challenges. Last month the diocesan synod decided to re-instate the building after promises of funding by the national government and Christchurch City Council.
The decision to reinstate the cathedral was dependent upon the promised $10 million grant from Christchurch City Council, a $10 million grant and $15 million loan from the national government, and $13.7 million from the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust, a heritage group which had been campaigning for a rebuild rather than a new building. Diocesan authorities will contribute $42 million from the proceeds of the cathedral’s insurance payout. The remaining $104 million estimated cost will be met through a fundraising campaign.
The city council is now asking for the public’s view on how their $10 million grant can be funded. One suggestion is for a targeted tax, which would cost ratepayers an extra $18 for each of the next four years – a total of $72. The council is also considering borrowing the $10 million, which would cost tax-payers a total of $120 over 30 years.
Since the earthquake, the cathedral has been meeting in an award-winning temporary “cardboard cathedral”.