'Cathedral demolition unlawful' - Anderton
Wed, 03 Oct 2012 6:20p.m.
By Annabelle Tukia
The battle to save Christchurch's quake-damaged Anglican cathedral from demolition has entered the High Court.
The Greater Christchurch Building Trust led by former politician Jim Anderton says the trustees of the church are acting unlawfully by demolishing the iconic building and in breach of an act of Parliament.
Mr Anderton spearheads a group that says the ChristChurch Cathedral can and should be restored to its former glory, and today lawyers acting on behalf of that group went one step further, saying that the owner's demolition of the building is unlawful.
“We say the trustees are not free to demolish the church,” says Greater Christchurch Rebuild Trust lawyer Francis Cooke, QC.
That’s because of a 2003 Act of Parliament which protects church buildings by stating trustees must repair and maintain buildings. It says nothing about pulling them down.
“If the trustees of the cathedral want to be relieved of their duties of repairing and maintaining the cathedral they need to go back to Parliament,” says Mr Cooke.
But the lawyer for the church argued that the Anglican trustees do have the power to deconstruct.
“My client's position is that they don't need to build a church exactly the same as,” says Church Property Trust lawyer Jared Ormsby.
Mr Ormsby said the trustees would need to find $30 million more to rebuild the existing cathedral.
The hearing concludes tomorrow.
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4/10/2012 10:59:25 p.m.
Brother Paul wrote:
I agree with the other posters.
The building belongs to the Church, not the state. Therefore, it's the Church's decision as to what should happen with the building. After all, it is just a meeting place for the worship of the one true God. Heathen like Jim Anderton, and the court system's employees, should have no say in the church's decision.
4/10/2012 6:18:23 a.m.
If some people want to save the cathedral then they can buy it and pay for it. Forcing me as a tax payer to pay for it is wrong. It belongs to the Anglican church it's their decision.
4/10/2012 12:47:04 a.m.
Cole Dawson wrote:
Why try and rebuild what God has knocked down, the people are the church not a building ! Give the money to the poor and don't waste it on a stupid building.
3/10/2012 10:42:05 p.m.
Your stance defies logic, Mr Anderton. The intention of such Acts of parliament are to ensure that the owners of historic buildings are held responsible usually under pain of sanction for carrying out maintenance and to make good damage caused by general deterioration over time. Earthquakes and other unforeseen acts of God are a special case. Were parliament to require its restoration then on behalf of the taxpayer, parliament would have to assume responsibility for its restoration. Does the taxpayer want to be saddled with this burden?
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