De­vel­oper tipped to lead cathe­dral restora­tion com­mit­tee

The Press - - News - CHAR­LIE GATES

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.

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