Brownlee on Christchurch Town Hall

June 17th, 2013 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

writes in The Press:

The Town Hall is broken and unusable, and fixing it would be an expensive challenge, says the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery, Gerry Brownlee.

it would cost around $130 million to repair it, and insurance would cover only half.

In April 2012 we established the Christchurch Central Development Unit, of which the Christchurch City Council is a part, with the Crown and Ngai Tahu.

Council staff advised and played a significant role in developing the blueprint, ensuring it reflected what Christchurch residents told them. There was strong community support for a performing arts precinct, which was developed into an anchor project.

In 1974, Christchurch opened the premier performing arts facility of its generation.

The Christchurch Town Hall was state of the art for its time. The ultimate compliment was paid when in 1975 the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington was commissioned using the same architects and acoustic engineer.

A building younger than me, is not a heritage building.

Today the Christchurch Town Hall is badly torn apart.

What is left of it sits on some of the worst land from the geotechnical perspective in the central city – in part why it is so seriously damaged. It lies broken and unusable, and fixing it would be an expensive challenge.

We have a clear choice: try to recapture the magic of the past and patch up the town hall, as some want to do; or deliver modern facilities that could again have Christchurch leading the world for quality performing arts spaces.

The blueprint proposes developing an arts and entertainment complex with multiple theatres and performing arts spaces.

It would deliver auditoria of differing sizes, for multiple purposes, across a range of entertainment genres and with the performing arts community’s needs in mind.

This proposal encompasses the things Christchurch residents told the city council they wanted through the Share an Idea process.

It would incorporate space for our music schools.

It would have space for art house cinema and documentaries.

Performance spaces of varying sizes would take some risk out of mounting shows; if more seats were required, they would be at the same venue.

Sounds a much better plan to me, and something that would be used by many many more people than the old Town Hall.

But I have no doubt the Council will vote the other way.

Tags: ,

43 Responses to “Brownlee on Christchurch Town Hall”

  1. Auberon (873 comments) says:

    I have serious doubts about the council’s suggested cost for fixing the old town hall. I suspect $130 million is extremely light. Also, insurance is unlikely to cover half because the re-insuers of Civic Assurance (the cooperative insurer that wrote the insurance policies on CCC’s assets) dispute Civic’s claims. Civic’s problem is a number of judges have already sided with the re-insurers and sent the matter off for mediation. I doubt Civic will get a fraction of what they’ve told councillors to expect, and for that reason the council is going to have to tell the public the bill for fixing the old town hall is much bigger than they have to date.

    And the old town hall is frightfully ugly.

    Vote: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. iMP (2,418 comments) says:

    I agree with Gerry B. on this one, didn’t at first.
    http://conzervative.wordpress.com/2013/06/17/does-christchurch-need-a-new-town-hall/

    With its copied dandelion fountains, it was for much of the 1970s and 80s, the iconic image of Christchurch.

    Brownlee is in favour of demolition and rebuilding a new, more diverse cultural and entertainment precinct.  At first I was opposed to that, and the Council has voted to repair the old Town Hall, but Brownlee makes persuasive arguments that have won me over, and I now support his view.  They are:

    1. The earthquakes have delivered a unique opportunity to redesign our infrastructure from scratch.
    2. Local people had significant input into a blueprint and a dedicated performing arts center was a feature of  public submissions.
    3. Council staff worked on the detail of the blueprint outlining this, that Government now supports (as one of the “anchor projects” receiving centralised taxpayer support).
    4. The 1974 Chch Town Hall was state-of-the-art, and Wellington copied it exactly, but no longer, and not for a while.  Citing Sydney Opera House, Brownlee argues that it has changed radically since it too opened at the same time. “…these older buildings have great limitations in the modern day,” and “advances in theatre technology and design innovation” have “far surpassed the condition of the buildings.”
    5. The old Town Hall sits on terrible land, right beside the Avon.  Most of the other seriously damaged buildings also sat on nearby water courses. That is a serious and expensive rebuilt fix-up needing major mitigation and isolation from the silt-based under-base.

    Brownlee says a rebuild would provide a variety of advantages that the current structure cannot provide:

    a) Auditoriums of differing sizes and for diverse arts genres.
    b) A home for Christchurch’s various music schools, including the Symphony Orchestra.
    c) Art house cinemas.
    d) Performing spaces of different sizes will reduce the financial risks of putting on shows.  If more seats are needed, they exist in the same complex; shows can move to smaller venues.
    e) Cost saving by having a shared admin and ticketing office hub.
    f) A home for the Court Theatre.

    Currently these facilities are scattered all across the city.  It makes sense to gather them together to reinvigorate the cultural precinct and inner city of Christchurch, cross-subsidise, and rebuild from scratch to a plan for today’s needs, not those of 1974 which is forty years ago. This makes sense to me, and we would get much more ‘bang for our buck’ than restoring a stand-alone single purpose Town Hall built in 1974.

    I’m with Gerry on this one.

    Vote: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. F E Smith (3,307 comments) says:

    It would deliver auditoria of differing sizes, for multiple purposes, across a range of entertainment genres and with the performing arts community’s needs in mind.

    Well, it has my vote, even though I don’t live there any more.  As a student I was a regular at the Town Hall to hear the CSO perform.  One of the frustrations as a purchaser of the cheaper seats was the frequent siting of my seats in areas that either had ‘some viewing restrictions’, generally off to the sides of the auditorium.

    Please build us a world class concert hall, with top notch acoustics and equally good viewing!

    Vote: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. RRM (10,001 comments) says:

    The blueprint proposes developing an arts and entertainment complex with multiple theatres and performing arts spaces.

    It would deliver auditoria of differing sizes, for multiple purposes, across a range of entertainment genres and with the performing arts community’s needs in mind.

    This proposal encompasses the things Christchurch residents told the city council they wanted through the Share an Idea process.

    It would incorporate space for our music schools.

    It would have space for art house cinema and documentaries.

    So they want to build something like the Sydney Opera House…??

    *Popcorn*…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. RRM (10,001 comments) says:

    Performance spaces of varying sizes would take some risk out of mounting shows; if more seats were required, they would be at the same venue.

    :lol: LOL what?

    Anyone putting on a show would need to book EITHER the small, medium or large auditorium 12+ months in advance. Someone else will book out the others, so you wouldn’t be able to “borrow a few more seats” any more than you could “just move your show across the corridor to a bigger room”…

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Peter (1,723 comments) says:

    Is Gerru a distant cousin of Gerry? :)

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. mavxp (491 comments) says:

    Totally agree with Gerry, once again the council have demonstrated their inability to see common sense.
    The Architect is clearly lobbying hard to save what’s left of his careers work (most of Warren & Mahoney’s buildings have already been demolished). This is understandable behaviour from him, but to put it bluntly it is not his fucking money, or in the best interests of Christchurch people of today or tomorrow. He had his chance and blew it – ugly as sin and with bad foundations to boot. Time for a new building on a new site.

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. BeaB (2,142 comments) says:

    What a great chance to have the best arts complex in the country. I fear Christchurch will bitch and moan and argue as they always do and blame Gerry for everything including global warming and eventually we’ll all walk away and let them get on with what is left of their so-called heritage. I mourn a lot of the buildings of my youth but there’s nothing quite as exciting being given the chance for a new start.
    I think every NZer would be thrilled to see what a bright new modern city can look like.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Camryn (543 comments) says:

    Yeah, RRM. Swapping venues for mutual benefit if both parties agreed would just be inconceivably complex!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    A building younger than me, is not a heritage building.

    Horse Hockey!

    The Town Hall is one of the few good examples of New Zealand modernism, and was designed by arguably the finest architect New Zealand has yet produced. We don’t have a lot of decent architecture in New Zealand, and a lot of the historical stuff is horrible and colonial (like the stupid cathedral). But there was a time when New Zealanders looked forward, and the Town Hall is an example of that. As Douglas Lilburn has pointed out, we should be saving examples of NZ modernism and not worrying about restoring villas, as the former are much rarer.

    That said, if it can’t be saved at an acceptable cost, it should be replaced. But it’s wrong to say it isn’t a heritage building: it is, and of a rare and endangered type.

    The problem is that the replacement will likely be some postmodern/corporate horror, since all hope, taste, and intellect in art appeared to die about 40 years ago.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. RRM (10,001 comments) says:

    And what do you suppose the odds are of that ever actually happening Camryn?

    The smallest and most mobile touring show I’ve been involved with, took about 8 hours’ work to move into a venue and set the stage, and it took 2-3 hours to pack out at the end. Not counting lighting and sound work done by the venue’s own techs long before we arrived.

    That was with sole possession of the entire empty venue. NOT having to squeeze past another show going the other way in the corridor all the time…

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. Mobile Michael (459 comments) says:

    I take issue with only one of your comments – buildings that are under 40 years old cannot be heritage. Heritage depends less on age and more on originality, use, history, and public appreciation. So knocking down 100 year old corrugated iron sheds on Queens Wharf for the world cup should not be an issue, but bowling the 35 year old Beehive is destruction of NZs Heritage.

    Having said that, heritage is not an excuse to spend too much money – and in cases of disaster the total loss of the building (and of all the others) is a chapter in Canterbury’s history that will make the story more powerful.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    Umm, why should the council own a concert venue at all? Why not open up the process to tender, and allow the private sector to fund, own, and run the facility? It could include fast tracking the approvals process, and maybe could be built on land that the council owns. That is the model that the Gold Coast City Council is using for a cruise ship terminal. The Queensland government has even thrown in the carrot of a second casino license for the GC!

    If there’s a market for it, it will make money. If it doesn’t have a market it will fail.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    Mobile Michael – arguably knocking down the 35 year old beehive would be a good thing. It’s an eyesore.
    It’s almost 40 years old too now (Kirk was PM when it was opened, and he died in 1974).

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Umm, why should the council own a concert venue at all?

    Because it’s a public good.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Mobile Michael – arguably knocking down the 35 year old beehive would be a good thing. It’s an eyesore.
    It’s almost 40 years old too now (Kirk was PM when it was opened, and he died in 1974).

    It hasn’t aged well, unlike the same architect’s sublime replacement for Coventry Cathedral.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    No it’s not [a public good], 90% of ratepayers wouldn’t even use it!

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. davidp (3,587 comments) says:

    I don’t see what the issue is. The architect wants to save it. The architect is responsible for the inadequate foundations that weren’t suitable for a site next to a river. Therefore the architect should pay for the remediation. Problem solved, and at no cost to the insurer or the ratepayer.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. Black with a Vengeance (1,865 comments) says:

    Build a F1 racetrack instead. Townhalls are so last century. Especially ugly ones like Christchurch has.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. dime (10,094 comments) says:

    “A building younger than me, is not a heritage building.” – i dunno man. we are all getting old :P

    its amazing how attached some of these dim witted leftists get to buildings.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    No it’s not [a public good], 90% of ratepayers wouldn’t even use it!

    90% of ratepayers don’t use things like sports grounds either, but we have to collectively provide those in many cases.

    I pay rates to support hundreds of things I don’t use. Others do so for things including those I use. The only appropriate response is a Zen-like calm.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    its amazing how attached some of these dim witted leftists get to buildings.

    Even fictional communists like Howard Roark!

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. Akld Commercial Lawyer (165 comments) says:

    I had assumed that the long delays on an announcement were not a good sign. Another sensible, pragmatic, response from Gerry.

    In a similar vein to my learned friend Birkenhead, I have a few childhood memories of the place starting with the opening. However, the response of my (now) mostly elderly relatives after the September 2010 quakes was much more pragmatic to the look and feel of the city that they still lived in. They have as much time for the nostalgia set in Chch as I have for the heritage busybodies in Auckland.

    When the dust settles, I fully expect Chch to be our most liveable city even if I do hope that something of Miles Warren’s legacy remains.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. Mobile Michael (459 comments) says:

    Heritage is not just looks – and the Beehive was completed in the early 80s when Muldoon was PM (according to both my memory and wikipedia). Construction started in the late 60s when Holyoake was PM.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. Viking2 (11,550 comments) says:

    Liane’s coming to fix it all, apparently, according to the rumour mill tonight.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. Steve (North Shore) (4,587 comments) says:

    The Insurance should pay the amount insured and then the rest of the arty farty can build whatever they like. If they need more money then pay for it yourselves. Why should a Taxpayer/Ratepayer pay for a venue for the arty farty minority?

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    Meanwhile in WellyTown the stupid council is going to spend $43,000,000 propping up an ancient shithole despite what their new CEO said.

    Can any of you see why none of us in the Hutt Vally want a bar of super city. Specially since our mob are thinking of doing the same at the Laings Road edifice!

    Bring in the fucking bulldozers and level all the crappy old shit! :)

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. jackkerouacsnephew (27 comments) says:

    Each of Christchurch city’s grandiose projects comes in at about $150 million to $300 million.
    There is the Council Chambers itself approx $200 million, mostly to Ngai Tahu ,please challenge me on this.
    Then there is the Convention centre $160 million, public record,
    Then the football stadium , peferably covered so nobody can get wet, $150 million
    But hey who cares when you are a Mayor who can not add or subtract
    the Mayor and can not add or subtract he wants a 10 billion dollar train set

    We have 150,00 ratepayers in Christchurch so each of these projects are a cost of $1000 to $2000 per ratepayer.
    And then the Cathedral, a Dresden bomb site $300 million
    and then the catholic Basilica $400 million
    pay here Auckland, show us your support for us.
    No I don’t think so , I don’t mind what you think of Gerry but its this country’s money the loopfruit Mayor wants,
    Oh God please not Leanne Dalziel God, please not

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. F E Smith (3,307 comments) says:

    bowling the 35 year old Beehive would be a good thing.

    There you go, Mobile Michael, I fixed that for you…

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. Akld Commercial Lawyer (165 comments) says:

    I am not aware of any proposal by the Catholic Diocese of Chch for a bailout (by anyone) to rebuild the Catholic Cathedral in Barbados St.

    Instead, my understanding is that some artefacts have been loaned to the Canterbury Museum and, whilst final reports from the engineers are awaited, the pointers are to a relic of the Cathedral being left, as a memorial to the earthquakes and any “replacement” being in keeping with the plans for the future shape of the city. Which sounds like “…we will cut our cloth according to our means…” and suitably pragmatic.

    And, as the 2nd largest city, its in the interests of all taxpayers that Chch functions well. Also, to the interested observer, it may not matter who is the mayor if some of the other hallmarks of the present (dysfunctional) council are not changed. For example, the prospects of the current mayor of Auckland changing are pretty slim – but that does not seem to completely preclude a sensible dialogue with Wgtn about how the taxpayers’ money is spent on Akld infrastructure.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. dc (144 comments) says:

    So what will be done with “the worst land from the geotechnical perspective in the central city”? Apparently a giant Maori cultural centre will somehow be constructed there, presumably for free, and held up by some sort of skyhooks.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. hj (7,060 comments) says:

    Rebuild modelling woolstores /grainstores (Moorehouse Ave- Chch herittage).

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. hj (7,060 comments) says:

    I never thought much of the (brutalist) town hall- belonged with bellbottoms and Trevor Richards hair.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. hj (7,060 comments) says:

    Rebuild the cathedral as a core with recreational activities on the shell, such as climbing wall sttairs and cafe on top?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. hj (7,060 comments) says:

    @dc
    Pisses me off how Maori claim Chch. The Cof E settlement and settlement by Maoriwere two different things.
    C of E was based on agriculture.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  36. hj (7,060 comments) says:

    Next they’ll want a cultural center at Lyttelton tunnel. The Kaiapoia pa was the big thing down our way (Woodend).

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  37. jackkerouacsnephew (27 comments) says:

    Akld Commercial Lawyer (93) Says:
    June 17th, 2013 at 7:36 pm
    “I am not aware of any proposal by the Catholic Diocese of Chch for a bailout (by anyone) to rebuild the Catholic Cathedral in Barbados St.”
    oh dear, wisdom from lawyers in Auckland , pay here auckland

    and Aukland lawyer says :
    “the pointers are to a relic of the Cathedral being left, as a memorial to the earthquakes and any “replacement” being in keeping with the plans for the future shape of the city”

    Yes thats right Auckland lawyer, as I said pay here pay your billions here , pay here

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  38. jackkerouacsnephew (27 comments) says:

    More on Christchurch
    the flooding in Christchurch has enveloped the east, proving that the land has dropped.
    Christchurch is fucked, We don’t need a town hall in a vacant redneck city,
    I sold my property just before I left,
    I lost money , jesus i lost money but at least I am out of Christchurch.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  39. Than (487 comments) says:

    @jackkerouacsnephew – Thank you for leaving, Christchurch will be much better off without you.

    The town hall building is far too young to preserve purely on heritage grounds. The aesthetic aspects can be replicated in the new design (personally I liked the dandelion fountains, and would love to see them incorporated into any replacement) but the decision on repair versus replace should be purely on economic grounds.

    If we can repair the town hall, great. But if it’s cheaper (and safer) to knock it down and build anew, that’s what should happen.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  40. RRM (10,001 comments) says:

    :???: Jesus Christ.

    It’s like Dad4justice and Peter Quixote / PQ got together in unholy gay matrimony, and this is their offspring, with the worst traits of each.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  41. Akld Commercial Lawyer (165 comments) says:

    @Jack

    I continue to return to Chch as often as I can but not as often as I would like. And I figure that after the thick end of 30 years at the coalface, with many more to come, my tax contribution is doing something for the rebuild. My colleagues / contemporaries of similar vintage to a man or woman are all staying but worry that, after university, their kids will vamoose – to pay their taxes in Oz or further afield. Which makes it difficult to see how they will contribute to re-siting the Ferrier fountain or whatever floats your boat.

    Kind regards

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  42. Paulus (2,657 comments) says:

    Lianne will fix it with Blue Tack.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  43. kiwi in america (2,508 comments) says:

    On a recent trip to Christchurch I stood across the river from the Town Hall in Victoria Square. In the midst of the demolitions of so many buildings all around it, the Council had kept the banks of the Avon along that stretch looking almost as it had been before the quakes. The Town Hall complex was a forlorn sight – infested with overgrown weeds and the once famous pond beneath the Ferrier Fountain now a pool of fetid green water. As a singer in the Chch City Choir, I had spent many many nights in that complex and also in what was once the Parkroyal Hotel adjacent. Even after many decades of use, the Town Hall retained its architectural excellence and uniquely inviting feel. Having attended various functions in the Michael Fowler Centre, it is a pale imitation.

    The Town Hall was one of several locations in Christchurch that gave Christchurch big city facilities with all the small city advantages of lesser traffic, easier parking and community closeness. It is a building that is held in almost as much esteem and fondness by Chch natives as the Anglican Cathedral. As I stood there my initial instinct was to wish that the Council fulfilled their stated desire to rebuild the complex. I once thought that about the Cathedral as well.

    But with each visit post earthquake I have had to learn what those who still live there have learned – that almost everything about Christchurch has irrevocably changed. It has been a heartwrenching journey and anyone who left Chch pre-Sep 2010 but who regularly visits and has close family/friendship ties still there, probably understands what I am talking about. For the first 2 years or so I would visit the CBD Red Zone and travel through the damaged eastern suburbs to see what was happening. Each visit resulted in a emotionally visceral reaction to the carnage, demolition, open spaces and utter and widespread disruption to so many lives. The first time I viewed the Catholic Cathedral and the carnage behind the then much larger CBD cordon post Feb 22 I was in tears. I would take a young nephew and cycle the cordon fence and meet strangers with another story of near escape and survival. On my last trip the dismembering of Christchurch had become too much. I made a cursory trip along Manchester and Gloucester Streets ostensibly to see the re-opened New Regent Street and I was too overcome with loss to continue and I kept the remainder of my time in the city focused on the business purposes of the trip.

    The long suffering people of Christchurch have had to absorb the pain of the demolished city on top of all their other pain battling constant road works, moved business locations, insurance and EQC battles and substandard accommodation for any number of friends and family trying to rebuild. In the midst of all this has emerged a resignation and acceptance that the old Christchurch is truly gone. Most people I spoke to, as fond as we all were with the iconic Cathedral, accept the Anglican Church’s decision to build something new and modern in its place. I too have reached that point. And so as I read Gerry Brownlee’s ideas for what to do with the Town Hall, as much as I have so very many fond memories wrapped up in that complex, I feel he has struck the right note for where many residents of Christchurch have arrived. It is time for a performing Arts Complex that is modern, safe and meets the needs of Christchurch in 2013 as opposed to the late 1960’s when the Town Hall was first proposed.

    The price of the rebuild is truly staggering – the sheer scale and scope of what must be done to rebuild the city is mind boggling. But I sensed in the midst of even the ongoing struggles of the red zoners and the TC3 folk that Chch is turning the corner. There was surprising optimism and an acceptance that the city may end up only with the Provincial Council Chambers, the Arts Centre, the façade of the Theatre Royal and the Catholic Cathedral as representatives of the old buildings of the past and that the rest of the centre of Christchurch will be an entirely new city. The hundreds of millions not covered by EQC or insurers has to come out of Chch ratepayers and NZ tax payers pockets and with billions already committed to infrastructure and the EQC Crown Guarantee, there is a limit to the largesse of both groups. Rebuilding the Town Hall on that unstable but beautiful river bank site would be nice and nostalgic but in the new reality that is Christchurch, it has become yet another unaffordable luxury.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote