Greater Christchurch may forever be associated with the impact of the earthquakes in the minds of New Zealanders but they are not what defines the region. The post-quake spirit of recovery is a powerful force rebuilding lives and communities, and the infrastructure which supports them.

Heritage buildings have long been central to greater Christchurch’s sense of identity and very much a part of its distinctive character. At the height of the emergency response, heritage agencies acted swiftly to help preserve as many heritage buildings and places as possible.

There are challenges in preserving earthquake-damaged heritage buildings – in securing insurance, raising finance and rebuilding public confidence in the safety of older buildings.

In response to these challenges, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage has coordinated the development of this separate recovery programme for heritage buildings and places.

This web version of the Heritage Buildings and Places recovery Programme is a summary version of the full document, published in November 2014. A full copy of the document in PDF is available on the Ministry's main website at

The full document provides a record of the collective work over the last three years of a range of agencies with responsibilities for heritage conservation – Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, Christchurch City Council, Waimakariri District Council, Selwyn District Council and Ngāi Tahu – and the projects which have grown out of that work.

The buildings that survive the earthquakes will become a vital link to greater Christchurch’s past. As the Christchurch rebuild progresses, the far-sightedness and expertise of our heritage agencies will truly show their value.

Updated on 23rd July 2015