You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Peters wants govt action on cathedral

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/05/2017

The government needs to command the Anglican Church in Christchurch to get on with rebuilding Christ Church Cathedral and put more money in, according to NZ First leader Winston Peters.

He was in Cathedral Square on Sunday to highlight the issue, saying "our cathedral is lying in its unglamorous, unattended, neglected state right here".

"A ruin is not the acceptable face of a city being re-born".

The church said last Sunday that a synod in September will make a decision about what to do about the earthquake-damaged cathedral.

The masonry cathedral in a gothic style was built between 1864 and 1904 and is now deconsecrated.

The church has $42 million of insurance money and has favoured a new build but there's been a public lobby for a rebuild at the cost of $100 million.

Mr Peters says the minister responsible for the rebuild and recovery of Christchurch after the 2011 earthquakes has "Kremlin-like powers".

The new minister is Christchurch Central National MP Nicky Wagner.

"We want her to show leadership. And now.

"Tell the church to accept a programme to restore the cathedral, and keep its gothic style and heritage as far as is practical."

The minister must command the bishop and the Church Property Trustees, Mr Peters says.

"A trust can be formed, through legislation, to take over the project.

"The church's insurance pay out of $42m will go into building the sum of $100m required.

"The government has already offered to contribute around 10 per cent of the funding. That is not nearly enough."

He says taxation revenue from the Christchurch rebuild has been a bonanza for the government.

"Don't you think you should get some of it back? And here's one project that just needs a tiny ounce of that quake gold."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon