Christ Church Cathedral rebuild takes step forwards

The reinstatement of Christchurch's earthquake-damaged cathedral has taken a step forward, after all parties announced they've reached an agreement on the terms of the costly and complex project.

However, the timeframe for completion or complete cost of the works remains uncertain.

Chair of Christ Church Cathedral Reinstatement Limited, Justin Murray, recognises that saying it has taken some time to get to this point is an understatement.

It's been seven-and-a-half years since the Christchurch Cathedral was badly damaged during the destructive February 2011 earthquake.

Representatives of the Churches Property Trust, the Cathedral Reinstatement Trust and the company overseeing the work all signed a 50-page document setting out the terms of the $100 million reinstatement project.

Mr Murray says Wednesday's signing was historic.

"This is the first time since the February 2011 earthquake that there has been agreement in respect of how to reinstate our cathedral," he said.

It's not been as easy road to this point; the Christ Church Cathedral was deconsecrated in late 2011, and was set for demolition.

The government intervened and the Church Synod voted in September last year to reinstate the building - although not in the next decade.

The cost to reinstate the cathedral is estimated at $100 million - but first, the building must be made safe. 

This means it will need a detailed engineering assessment to be carried out inside to find out exactly what needs to be done to bring it back to its former glory.