Stabilisation is the first physical step to reinstating the Cathedral.  It will address severe structural damage and prevent further damage until the Cathedral has been reinstated.  It will also ensure the building is safe for workers and enable access to parts of the Cathedral.  Watch Project Director Keith Paterson explain progress as at September 2020.


It involves:

  • Installing support frames to support and secure the Cathedral
  • Deconstructing some badly-damaged sections to manage collapse hazards, and allow access to other areas. These parts will later be reinstated.
  • Removing more recent additions to the Cathedral to give safer and faster access to stabilise the older parts
  • Accessing the interior of the building for salvage and investigation works
  • Retrieving heritage items, including the remaining stained glass windows and organ
  • Temporary weather-proofing.


In the latter part of 2020 people will see steel framing and scaffolding progressively being erected.   We estimate stabilisation will take between 18 and 24 months.


Ten areas of work are planned, however the order is indicative only, and may change and/or overlap.  Each area of work will have its own methodology.


Christ Church Cathedral is a listed as a Category 1 Historic Place under the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014 and is also an archaeological site under that Act.  Category 1 places are defined as “places of special or outstanding historical or cultural heritage significance or value”. The scope of the stabilisation work includes protecting heritage elements and materials for later reinstatement.


Christ Church Cathedral Reinstatement Limited appointed Holmes Consulting as structural engineers to lead the stabilisation design, and Naylor Love as consultant contractor.  Early contractor involvement is highly advantageous in achieving the best methodology and constructability.  This is a strong focus on the health and safety of workers, along with an emphasis on heritage, cost, and time management.