Public vote on cathedral design
The Anglican Church has revealed three options for the rebuild of the ChristChurch Cathedral.
The public can now vote for their favourite, before the church leaders make the final decision.
The fate of the most well-known church in the country has been tied up in court cases and shrouded in secrecy since the big quake in 2011, but today the three final options for the cathedral's future were unveiled to the public.
Bishop Victoria Matthews says the final design choice will be influenced by the public decision.
The first option is a $220 million complete restoration of the cathedral to its original glory. While this is the most expensive option and could take the longest, heritage supporters say it's the only way forward.
Those supporters include Mark Belton from the Restore ChristChurch Cathedral group.
"We don't need two of the options, because we now have the option to restore the cathedral," he says.
The second option is a $180 million re-interpretation of the original gothic revival building in modern materials.
Architect Bill Gregory says the overall effect "is intended to be more reminiscent of the previous cathedral and trying to make a lighter feeling in the square".
The third option is the real surprise, a $74 million contemporary structure with a sculptural spire. As far as the designs go, it's the cheapest and the quickest, and Mayor Bob Parker says it's the one.
"I like option three. Give me the contemporary one for sure. That's my personal view."
The design still contains links to the building's past, he says.
Bishop Matthews also has a favourite, but she wouldn't be drawn.
"I have strong opinions about everything, but at this point it's my role to listen."
The public have until May to vote online but in the end, it will be up to the church leaders to decide the fate of the most-argued about building in the city.