Hearings for the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Canterbury earthquakes will be held in a church hall after most of the area's public meeting spaces were devastated in the February 22 disaster.
The Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission has spent $20,000 refurbishing St Teresa's Parish church in Riccarton, Christchurch so it can host the hearings, which begin next month.
The hall is normally used by the church and school and community groups.
But St Teresa's has agreed to let the Royal Commission have exclusive use of the facility for several months while hearings are held from October 17.
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To bring the hall up to standard, the commission is contributing more than $20,000 towards the cost of improvements including new vinyl, paint and bathroom hand basins.
It will also pay weekly rent, which will help fund further improvements after the hearings are completed.
In welcoming the commission, St Teresa's Father Antoine Thomas said: "The parish will benefit by displaying that attitude of understanding and compassion toward many hurting families. St Teresa's parishioners will have that opportunity to welcome all the families that have been affected by the earthquakes."
Commission executive director Justine Gilliland said it is pleased to be able to hold the hearings in a friendly environment and contribute to the community while conducting the inquiry into earthquake-related building failures that caused loss of life.
"These are exceptional times here in Christchurch and, like many organisations, we've had to be adaptable.
"Although the inquiry has been underway since May the hearings are the public face of the inquiry and it is important they are conducted in a suitable venue. We appreciate the support of the community helping us to make this possible."