Replacement time capsule buried in Cathedral Square

Replacement time capsule buried in Cathedral Square

Curators have buried a time capsule under the iconic Godley Statue in Christchurch's Cathedral Square.

It replaces two historic capsules which were uncovered when the bronze work toppled in the February 2011 earthquake.

The new steel time capsule is set to stay sealed for 50 years.

"I'm afraid I can't tell you much at all about the time capsule, we've been sworn to secrecy about what's in it," says Sarah Murray, Canterbury Museum curatorial manager.

The fallen Godley Statue became a symbol of the 2011 earthquake when two old, timeworn capsules were discovered under the rubble.

Former Mayor Sir Bob Parker was part of the opening.

"I was hoping that in there would be some wonderful message from 1867, but in fact it was about the moving of the statue," he says.

Today's ceremony was an effort to continue that tradition, and it captured the imagination of five-year-old Olivia Fryer.

When asked what she hoped was inside the capsule, she says: "Real fairies."

Unfortunately, the real contents might be less exciting.

"I know that I've signed a letter. That will be of surprise to no one," says Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel.

Ms Murray would only give a small hint to tide over the 50 years of anticipation.

"For me, it's the personal things that make a time capsule really interesting, being able, for instance, to be able to read a letter from someone about what life is like now," she says.

When Godley finally reveals his secrets, it will be to a community that barely remembers the broken cathedral.