Developer tipped to lead cathedral restoration committee
Central city landowner and property investor Peter Guthrey is being considered to lead the $104 million restoration of the Christ Church Cathedral.
Guthrey is widely tipped to be appointed chairman of a new committee that will oversee fundraising and restoration of the earthquake-damaged cathedral.
The move comes as consultation closes on the Christchurch City Council’s plan to grant $10m towards cathedral restoration. The consultation, which closed last night, had attracted over 1000 submissions by yesterday.
Guthrey, who did not return calls for comment, is the son of former Christchurch Mayor Ron Guthrey. In the 1980s, he developed the Guthrey Centre on Cashel St in central Christchurch, which before the February 2011 earthquake had tenants including fashion store Country Road and a food court. The centre was demolished after the quake and the site sold to developer Richard Peebles this year.
The last government offered funding and project management support to the Anglican church for cathedral restoration. The Anglican governing body, known as the Synod, voted in September to restore the building. The new committee is expected to oversee any joint venture between the Government and the Anglican diocese to restore the building.
Greater Christchurch Regeneration Minister Megan Woods would not reveal any details about progress on the cathedral, but said it was ‘‘one of my top priorities for my first few weeks as minister’’. She said she was ‘‘building momentum’’ on the project to restore the cathedral.
‘‘I will have more to say in the next few days,’’ she said.
A council panel made up of all councillors will hear submissions on the planned $10m council grant on December 14 and 16. Councillors could make a decision on the grant at the close of the hearings or at a full council meeting.
The $10m grant was part of a public funding package for restoration of the cathedral. The last Government pledged a $10m cash grant and a $15m loan towards cathedral restoration. The offer had cross party support.
The Great Christchurch Buildings Trust promised $13.7m in donations for restoration.