A Christchurch councillor believes legal action could be taken against the decision to partially demolish ChristChurch Cathedral.

The Bishop of Christchurch, Victoria Matthews, announced on Friday the 131-year-old building will be deconstructed down to two or three metres.

The iconic building withstood the September 2010 earthquake, but was devastated in last year's February 22 earthquake. Subsequent aftershocks in June and December prompted the decision to demolish the Anglican cathedral.

Bishop Mathews said the building would be brought down to a safe level while the taonga and treasures could be salvaged from the building and its future decided.


Christchurch City Council member Aaron Keown said the public backlash to the decision has begun.

"I've been contacted by people from all round Christchurch, New Zealand and from overseas that want to save that building and so I wouldn't be surprised if there actually was legal action going forward."

Mr Keown said the only way forward is for the community to come up with a plan and present it to the Anglican Church.

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker echoed those sentiments, calling for Anglican leaders to provide more information about the future of the building.

"A bit more clarity from the church would be appreciated," he told the Press. "There is a vacuum of information."

Mr Parker said the eastern wall could be salvaged, and the fallen western spire could be rebuild taller, with the remains of the old spite retained as a monument.

"The bulldozers aren't moving in tomorrow. I think this is the beginning of a process of making clear the elements that can be retained."

Meanwhile a Christchurch architect is already working on proposals to save the cathedral from demolition.

Don Donnithorne is working on designs which would save and strengthen the landmark.

"I've got proposals forward and we'll just have to wait and see but I'm doing my very best for Christchurch's sake to save this building."

Mr Donnithorne said he is prepared to publicise the plans if need be.