01 Why was the fund established?

Heritage and character buildings make a significant contribution to the historic identity and visual character of communities. They have always been an integral part of the Canterbury region’s identity. Unlike New Zealand’s other main centres, Christchurch has a flat and relatively featureless topography. It was the diversity of the built environment, and in particular the city’s heritage buildings, which gave the city its attraction. Many of these buildings have been demolished as a result of the devastating earthquakes. Those heritage and character buildings which remain, have, in most cases, sustained major damage. In many instances insurance cover is insufficient to cover the costs of repair. This fund was set up to address this shortfall over the initial period of earthquake recovery.

02 What support does the Fund have from Government and territorial authorities?

The New Zealand Government pledged to match dollar-for-dollar all funds raised up to a maximum $10 million during the initial period. Contributions have been made by the territorial authorities which make up the Canterbury region and Heritage New Zealand. The fund has the support of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. This match funding ceased from May 2014.

03 All of the buildings are in private ownership, how does conserving these buildings constitute a public benefit?

Only buildings in private ownership are eligible to receive funding. When selecting which eligible buildings will receive funding a key consideration of the Trustees is the degree to which the building represents a public benefit. Retaining some of our heritage and character buildings is a critical aspect of the Canterbury rebuild. The buildings add diversity to the cityscape, hold memories, and give the region a sense of place. Many heritage buildings which contribute positively to our shared built environment are held in private ownership.

Covenants over the relevant property or other appropriate legal instruments may be considered as a condition of funding, as determined by the Trustees.

04 What is a Qualifying Heritage Building?

A “Qualifying Heritage Building” is a building within the districts of the Christchurch City Council, Waimakariri District Council, Selwyn District Council, Timaru District Council and Ashburton District Council which is: • a historic building listed in the relevant District Plans or registered with Heritage New Zealand; or • a building or one of a group of buildings which makes a significant contribution to the historic identity and visual character of a community; or • a Marae building or other building of cultural significance to Maori.

05 How long will the Fund run for?

The repair and restoration of heritage buildings in Canterbury will go on for a number of years. The Trust will be wound up when all funds are distributed. The Trust Deed indicates that all funds must be allocated by 30 June 2015. Currently, all funds are allocated, but occasionally grants are not paid out because projects do not proceed as expected.  Such monies may then be re-allocated. 

When the Canterbury Earthquake Hertage Buildings Trust is eventually wound up, any remaining funds may be transferred to Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga for use for a similar purpose.


07 Can I get tax back on my donation?

Yes, the Canterbury Earthquake Heritage Buildings Fund has been approved by the Inland Revenue Department as a donee organisation. If you are individual making a donation you are eligible for a tax credit (formerly rebate) for that donation. The amount of the tax credit is calculated at 33.33% of the total gift. If you are a company (including certain societies) or a Maori authority you can claim a deduction for your donation. To be eligible for a tax credit your donation must be $5 or greater. If you gift over $5 you will be eligible to claim a tax credit. If you gift via the website and enter your email address you will be automatically emailed a receipt. Donors who gift via other methods will be furnished with a manually generated receipt, if requested.

Note that the Fund is no longer receiving donations.

08 What is the Fund's legal structure?

The Canterbury Earthquake Heritage Buildings Fund is an independent Trust administered by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga and supported by Christchurch City Council, Waimakariri and Selwyn District Councils.