Special report: What to do with the ChristChurch Cathedral?

The ChristChurch Cathedral has been left in a derelict state for more than six years.

Some experts say a rebuild could have been nearly completed in that same timeframe. Instead, the debate goes on about what to do with the building that has been at the heart of Christchurch for more than 150 years.

ChristChurch Cathedral, Christchurch Earthquake
The ChristChurch Cathedral in 1955 (Getty)

The Anglican Synod, the official assembly of the church clergy, is expected to finally announce a decision in September.

So, what are the options on the table for the ChristChurch Cathedral?

Option one is to deconstruct or "demolish" the remains, which is backed by the Anglican Church which owns the Cathedral.

It declined Newshub's interview request but has widely supported using its money for the people who are still struggling from the earthquakes.

Option two is to reinstate or rebuild the Cathedral. An option that carries a $105 million price tag according to the Government.

But who is going to pay for that?

The Anglican Church has a reported $42 million from the insurance pay-out to contribute to the rebuild while the Government is happy to cough up a $10 million grant and a $15 million loan.

Prince William, ChristChurch Cathedral, Christchurch 2011 Earthquake
Prince William visited the ChristChurch Cathedral in 2011 less than a month after the deadly February earthquakes (Getty)

A further $15 million is expected from the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust (GCBT) which is advocating for a rebuild.

That still leaves $23 million to raise, however the GCBT co-chairman Philip Burdon believes no matter what, demolition is not an option.

"It is a unique part of our heritage, the building matters, it is important," he says.

"I say, if you don't want the building or if the Church doesn't want the building then give it to the city, but demolition is not an option."

With the announcement due in just three months, Mr Burdon says he isn't confident a definitive decision will be made.

"Certainly not, [it's] frankly another delay, I suspect there will have to be government intervention at some stage," he says.

"But we cannot carry on like this."

Option three is a bit leftfield but in 2013 the then Mayor of Christchurch, Sir Bob Parker, floated the idea of putting a glass casing over the remains to preserve what was left and allow worshippers and tourists back inside. This option carries an estimated price tag of around $45 million.

Watch the video.

Produced by Sarah Rowan.