A New Zealand High Court judge has lifted his ban on the demolition of Christchurch Cathedral.
A New Zealand High Court judge has lifted his ban on the demolition of Christchurch Cathedral, allowing the diocese to deconstruct the earthquake ravaged gothic cathedral. On 30 May 2014 Justice Graham Panckhurst lifted the 2012 order halting the deconstruction allowing the diocese to begin construction of a new cathedral on the site of the old. In March 2012 the Diocese of Christchurch’s Church Property Trustees voted to level the ruins of the cathedral, damaged in the February 2011 earthquake. A legal challenge was mounted and in November 2012, the High Court halted the planned demolition after the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust (GCBT) – a preservationist group — sought a binding ruling on whether diocese’s plans breached an act of Parliament protecting church buildings. The Court of Appeal overturned the decision and in December 2013, the Supreme Court declined to hear GCBT’s appeal. In his ruling, Justice Panckhurst said he was lifting the stay as the diocese had complied with all court decisions concerning the demolition and rebuilding, further adding that it was not up to the court to dictate to the diocese the design of the new cathedral. Construction on the new cathedral is expected to take up to ten years.