The Anglican Church is not saying if it will reconsider its controversial decision to pull down the Christchurch Cathedral amid a surge in activism to try to stop it.
An online petition begun yesterday has already drawn hundreds of names, and rallies are planned in Christchurch this weekend, including one outside an Anglican Synod meeting, to try to halt the deconstruction.
Prominent Christchurch people also propose seeking a court injunction to stop it, and a campaign is planned to "pressure" Prime Minister John Key and his Cabinet into supporting their cause.
Preliminary work has already begun to pull down the 131-year-old cathedral, which has been badly damaged by earthquakes in Canterbury since September 2010.
The Anglican Diocese of Christchurch says it would be too costly to repair, but opponents argue 100 top seismic engineers from New Zealand and overseas think it can be done.
A diocese spokeswoman did not respond yesterday to Weekend Herald questions about whether the demolition might be reconsidered.
A website titled 'Restore the Christchurch Cathedral" went live yesterday, featuring a petition supporting the restoration of the cathedral "to its former glory", which already has about 500 names. "We plead to our Anglican church - we are not gentiles, we are fellow citizens, it is our cathedral too," it says.By Jarrod Booker Email Jarrod