The Cathedral’s future was the focus of public debate and litigation between heritage groups and the Anglican Church, which led to the Crown stepping in to facilitate negotiations. Ultimately, in 2017 it was agreed the Cathedral would be reinstated with financial support from the New Zealand Government, Christchurch City Council and key individual donors.

Christ Church Cathedral Reinstatement Act 2017

Part of the Government’s support was the introduction and enactment of the Christ Church Cathedral Reinstatement Act 2017. The Act recognises the Cathedral's contribution to cultural, social and economic wellbeing in Christchurch, its importance to Christchurch's regeneration, and its heritage value. It enables the Government to make Orders in Council that grant exemptions from, modify, or extend the provisions of certain enactments for the purpose of facilitating the rebuild of the Cathedral.

Order in Council

On 24 August 2020, the Government approved the first Order in Council. This Order modifies the Resource Management Act 1991 (the RMA) to streamline the resource consent process for the reinstatement of the cathedral. 

The Order enables a consent to be granted without notification but with appropriate conditions to manage or mitigate certain effects of the reinstatement work without impeding the delivery of the project.

Resource Consent

On 23 December 2020, the Christchurch City Council granted the Christ Church Cathedral Reinstatement Project resource consent to undertake the substantive reinstatement works on the cathedral and its setting.

While physical work on stabilising, the cathedral began in May 2020, this new consent allowed for the: 

  • strengthening, repair and restoration of the main Cathedral building including the construction of a new west porch, tower and vestries
  • superstructure of the main Cathedral building to be seismically strengthened and supported by a new foundation system including base isolation
  • building of a new Visitors’ Centre with café, museum, retail and tower experience and the Cathedral Centre with a function room, amenities and administration offices; landscaping of the site is also allowed.