Prince Charles now 'royal patron' of ChristChurch Cathedral rebuild

Prince Charles has thrown his support behind the reinstatement of one of New Zealand's iconic landmarks, as the week-long royal tour nears an end.

The ChristChurch Cathedral is in a state of disrepair following the Christchurch earthquakes.

The future king is stepping in, announcing he'll become the royal patron of its reinstatement.

The royal patronage recognises and reinforces the significance of the cathedral as the centre of Anglican worship in Canterbury, a heritage treasure, and city icon," said Rev Peter Carell, bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch.

"We are thrilled that the Prince of Wales has also made a substantial donation to the project, which we hope will encourage others. His Royal Highness' commitment to our special place will enhance interest in the cathedral nationally and internationally."

The prince then joined his wife Camilla on a popular walkabout In Cathedral Square, where they mingled with locals. Hundreds turned out to see them.

One fan who waited two hours to see the royal couple told Newshub it was definitely worth the wait. 

"Just impressed to have the opportunity to meet the prince - our future king."

Dean of Christchurch Lawrence Kimberley said the reinstatement is "well underway".

"This project has all the complexities that come with working on a treasured heritage place. Our challenge, and opportunity, is to honour the spiritual significance of the cathedral as a house of prayer open to all, as well as the heritage and uniqueness of the cathedral, and to better equip it for the future."

Charles and Camilla only have one day left on their tour of the country. The Duchess of Cornwall will spend Saturday morning in Christchurch, while Charles will head to Kaikoura for the afternoon to officially end their visit.