About the trust
The heritage buildings throughout Canterbury are an important part of the region's character and its history. The earthquake caused significant damage to many heritage and character buildings. The cost of their repair and restoration has been and continues to be considerable, and it was deemed appropriate that Government assisted with local rebuilding and strengthening efforts during the initial three years of the recovery.
The community places a high value on our heritage and character building and the government shares that view. It was receiving donations by its provision of matching funding for regional heritage repairs dollar-for-dollar, up to a maximum of $10 million. This ceased in May 2014.
Canterbury’s heritage building stock has suffered irretrievable loss over the past three years in the wake of thousands of earthquakes and aftershocks. Many of our most prized buildings are gone.
The Canterbury Earthquake Heritage Buildings Fund (the Trust) exists to provide financial assistance to owners of Qualifying Heritage Buildings so that the precious few heritage buildings which remain and which are feasible to repair might be saved.
The Trust was formed in late 2010 as a collaboration between the Ministry of Culture and Heritage, Christchurch, Selwyn and Waimakariri Councils and Heritage New Zealand with grants from each of those organisations contributing to start up capital. A generous $1 million pledge from Fletcher Construction initiated the first significant grant for the restoration and reconstruction of a noted Christchurch Heritage building – the 1882 McKenzie and Willis building in High Street. To further support the early work of the Trust the Government pledged to match dollar-for dollar all donations made to the Trust to a maximum of $10 million. This matching of donations ceased in May 2014.
The Trust is administered by Trustees who have the powers set out in the Trust deed. Damaged heritage or character buildings in private ownership located within the Canterbury region will qualify for financial support from the Fund. Funding will be targeted to bridge the gap between insurance cover, and the actual cost of repairs and associated works including conservation works, structural upgrading and Building Code compliance works. Trustees will give preference to buildings the preservation of which will make a significant contribution to the historic identity and visual character of a place and will, in turn, confer maximum public benefit. There is more information about the types of projects the Fund will support in the Fund Policy document. All owners of qualifying heritage buildings are eligible to apply to the general fund for assistance.
A further contestable round of funding closes on 8 December 2017 as the Trust looks to distribute remaining funds. It is expected that this will be the final round.
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