Design News

Restore the Christchurch Town Hall

Article by Home Magazine

UPDATE! The Christchurch City Council today voted to restore the Town Hall. Work could begin very soon. This story from Stuff has all the details. We’re so pleased this iconic building will be restored, and are grateful to all the diligent campaigners in Christchurch who gave so much of their time and effort to fight for this great decision.


A drawing by Miles Warren of the Christchurch Town Hall complex.

A painting by Miles Warren of the Christchurch Town Hall complex.


The Christchurch City Council faces an important decision on Thursday: whether to restore the Christchurch Town Hall, or not. Here at HOME we fervently believe that this internationally acclaimed architectural icon should be restored and be reinstated as the heart of the Christchurch community. Helpfully, a story on the Stuff news website today cites a Deloitte report which attests to the financial viability of restoration. Below is the letter HOME editor Jeremy Hansen is sending to Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel, deputy mayor Vicki Buck and the Christchurch City councillors. If you feel as strongly about this important building as we do, we urge you to contact them too. The mayor and councillors’ email addresses, Facebook pages and Twitter handles are at the bottom of this post. 

Dear Lianne,

I’m writing to express my support for the Christchurch City Council’s 2013 decision to restore the Christchurch Town Hall, and my hope that the new council will endorse this decision on Thursday.

I don’t live in Christchurch, but I visit often and have always loved the Town Hall. How could I not? TV broadcasts from my childhood (such as when Tina Cross won the Pacific Song Contest there in 1979) embedded the building, its forecourt and fountain as a glamorous symbol of the city in my young mind.

Every period of architecture has ‘best in class’ buildings, and the Christchurch Town Hall is arguably the most significant building of its era. The international plaudits for the building and its innovative acoustics made it seem possible for New Zealand architecture to capture world attention, that we weren’t a forgotten country at the bottom of the world.

It was heartening to read today that a report by Deloitte says the restoration of the Town Hall stacks up financially. I realise that life in post-quake Christchurch is full of complexity, of insufficient funds to cover an enormous range of competing priorities. So it is pleasing to learn that the restoration of the Christchurch Town Hall is not only desirable, but responsible: that the building can live again as the heart of the Christchurch community, as a vital link to a fascinating period in Christchurch and New Zealand history, and as a symbol of the city’s modernity and civic generosity.

I urge you to vote in favour of the Christchurch Town Hall’s restoration. It will be a decision for which future generations of New Zealanders will always be thankful.

With very best wishes,

Jeremy Hansen
Editor, HOME magazine.

The Christchurch Town Hall auditorium, where Marshall Day designed the acoustics.

The Christchurch Town Hall auditorium, where Marshall Day designed the acoustics.


Here are the email addresses and social media contact details for the mayor and Christchurch city councillors. Please get in touch by whatever means suits you to ask them to vote to restore the Christchurch Town Hall. 

Mayor Lianne Dalziel

Deputy Mayor Vicki Buck

Councillor Raf Manji:

Councillor Ali Jones:

Councillor Glenn Livingstone:

Councillor Yani Johanson

Councillor Jamie Gough:

Councillor David East:

Councillor Andrew Turner:

Councillor Phil Clearwater:

Councillor Paul Lonsdale:

Councillor Jimmy Chen:

Councillor Pauline Cotter:

Christchurch City Council official twitter and FB account:


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