We're improving Cathedral Square to make it safer and more pleasant for people and to support businesses in the area.

Cathedral Square

The upgrade work will involve re-levelling the ground, re-laying paving, installing additional lighting and introducing more landscaping to soften the environment. Where possible, we will re-use existing materials.

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Improvements to the southern parts of Cathedral Square will be carried out in four phases. The fourth phase will involve gathering public feedback about proposed changes to the Square's access.

Phase 1 work has been completed in front of the Spark building and to the west of the Distinction Christchurch Hotel. The remaining Phase 1 and 2 work is currently on hold while the hotel is being used as a Managed Isolation and Quarantine Facility.

Looking east towards the Distinction Christchurch Hotel (left) and new Spark building which is currently under construction.

A bird’s-eye-view impression of the future south-east corner of the Square.

Whiti-reia Cathedral Square is of significance to Ngāi Tūāhuriri Rununga and is a place which contains layers of meaning for Christchurch communities. It is a Highly Significant Scheduled heritage item in the Christchurch District Plan.

The Square contains three scheduled heritage items – the Citizens’ War Memorial, Christ Church Cathedral, and the Godley Statue and Godley Plot. The heritage fabric of the Square includes features such as plaques, Four Ships Court, and artworks. The Square is also adjoined by scheduled heritage buildings.

From when it was first laid out in 1850, Cathedral Square, the heart of the central city, has undergone many changes. Its look, feel and function have evolved from a muddy thoroughfare in the early days to a more formal, pedestrian-friendly place for hosting civic and social gatherings. Although it has always been called a "square", its shape is actually that of a cross.

Click on the images below to learn more about the history of Cathedral Square.

Christ Church Cathedral Reinstatement Limited is the organisation responsible for reinstating the Cathedral. You can learn more on their website reinstate.org.nz(external link)