Jim Anderton writes in the Herald in a very strong column about saving the Cathedral:
The picture of the ‘ruin’ that has been put on television and on the front page of the Christchurch Press on dozens if not hundreds of occasions is a totally false perspective of the damage that the Cathedral has suffered.
Some of the most experienced and knowledgeable seismic and structural engineers both in New Zealand and, internationally, agree that the Cathedral has not been terminally damaged and can be both made safe for repair and totally restored to the highest building code justifiably required for public buildings. No similar building in any other part of the world that I have experienced, would remotely be a candidate for demolition.
I recommend reading it yourself. Labour’s policy announced last week was not one taken lightly; we recognise the significance of the Cathedral and the ownership of the Anglican Church. All that we have said is that if it is to be demolished, then it should not be under the provisions of the Section 38 powers. These powers were given to the government so that they could demolish buildings for public safety without going through an RMA process. More than 3 and a half years later, it is clear that the building provides no immediate hazard to the public. If the Church wants to demolish it, then they should have to go through the process of having it removed from the register of historic buildings. To do this would require a process under the RMA, in which all sides could present their cases.
If the building is to come down, then so be it. But it should only be through a robust process, not the abuse of extraordinary powers.
(I stole the blog post title from this Decemberist song)