Taranaki Cathedral’s earthquake strengthening and remediation is expected to cost between $8-10 million, according to a preliminary report.
Cathedral Dean, the Very Revd Peter Beck, said the church community is pleased to receive the quantity surveyors report, which provides certainty as well as a ballpark amount with which to approach funders.
“This is an early estimate – but it gives the cathedral and the Taranaki community something to work with. Already there are individuals and organisations interested in contributing to fundraising efforts, and this figure will help us get the ball rolling.”
“If preliminary timelines developed by Cathedral Remediation and Design Manager Jenny Goddard are followed we could see the cathedral reopening in early to mid 2019,” said Dean Peter.
The news is encouraging for the people who worship in the historic building as well as for the wider community. “This is an iconic site and to see St Mary’s strengthened and enhanced within a few years is an exciting prospect.” The building is the oldest stone church in New Zealand and was temporarily closed on January 31 this year.
Archbishop Philip Richardson, who is also the Bishop of Taranaki, welcomed the news, saying he was heartened by the estimate. It was a realistic, achievable figure, in line with work carried out on other significant buildings around the country, he said.Quantity surveyors, Rawlinsons have based their estimates on the concept strengthening plan prepared by Holmes Consulting. Additionally, remediation items such as improved heating, lighting and stone maintenance have been included. “Importantly this project will ensure the cathedral serves the Taranaki community for many generations to come – and will be doing so in 2064, 200 years after our building was dedicated as a church.”
Holmes Consulting will now be asked to advance the strengthening concept into the preliminary design phase, gradually firming up the works required.
While that is happening the cathedral is working to develop a vision for what the central New Plymouth site will look like – and be – for the people of Taranaki, and beyond.