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A dynamic evolution of the Taranaki Cathedral Church of St Mary site has received a significant boost from the TSB Community Trust.
TSB Community Trust is pleased to announce that in addition to currently funding the Cathedral Project Manager’s position to oversee the coordination and remediation process for the Taranaki Cathedral that an additional $1.5m has been committed dependent on raising the remainder of the funds. “The impact of the project will be significant for Taranaki and its people as they engage with the facilities, services and its kaupapa of peace, inclusiveness and community connection”. Harvey Dunlop, Chair of TSB Community Trust also adds “the diverse range of community groups who use this significant heritage site will also benefit from the facilities and positive opportunities regionally, Nationally and Internationally”.
The news comes as consultation with the parish and Ngāti Te Whiti hapū on a refreshed and detailed site development plan continues for the $15m project. The project will involve the sensitive earthquake strengthening of the historic stone Cathedral, the oldest stone church in New Zealand. The site development plan being consulted on includes a repurposing of the historic vicarage and a new building which will reflect Te Ao Māori, the place of Ngāti Te Whiti, Te Ātiawa as mana whenua and form the cornerstone of the Sir Paul Reeves Centre for Peace and Reconciliation.
Archbishop Philip Richardson welcomed the news of the grant, which he said was an important funding milestone for the project, which would have a broad community impact.“We are delighted to receive this support from the Trust. It acknowledges the potential of the project to have wide reaching community benefits,” he said.
“Our brief was bold, and we now have developed a concept that involves the protection and evolution of our important heritage site which will have a significant national and international impact. We believe it has the power to weave the Taranaki community together and re-energise the Cathedral site while creating a dynamic educational experience and unique tourism destination for generations to come,” he said
This design follows intense community and parish consultation over several years. The vision brings all Cathedral functions onto one site. It creates an important education, heritage and tourism attraction. The endorsement of Sir Paul Reeves’ whānau of a centre of peace and reconciliation was another crucial milestone, together with Ngāti Te Whiti hapū, mana whenua of the Cathedral site. From late 2018 a committee of parish members and Ngāti Te Whiti representatives have fed actively into the design process with architects Tennent Brown.