26 September 2011
Quakes Royal Commission Hearings to be
Held at Church Hall
Public meeting spaces suitable for holding public
hearings are in short supply in earthquake devastated Christchurch. But the
Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission has come up with a novel solution.
The Commission has reached an agreement with St Teresa’s Parish in
Riccarton to hold its hearings in the church hall that adjoins the church and
school on Puriri St. The hall is normally used from time to time by the
school and community groups. But St Teresa’s has agreed to let the Royal
Commission have exclusive use of the facility for several months while hearings
are held, beginning 17 October.
To bring the hall up to standard, the Commission is contributing over
$20,000 towards the cost of improvements including new vinyl, paint and
bathroom hand basins (although the basket ball hoop in the hearing room will
remain!) The Commission will also pay weekly rent. This money will be used to
help fund further improvements after the hearings are completed.
In welcoming the Commission, St Teresa’s Father Antoine Thomas says it
is a great opportunity to reach out and live the last Commandment of Jesus-
Christ: “Love one another as I have loved you”.
“The parish will benefit by displaying that attitude of understanding
and compassion toward many hurting families. St Teresa’s parishioners
will have that opportunity to welcome all the families that have been affected
by the earthquakes; this is pleasing to God who always tries to gather his
children in true communion with Him and with one another,” says Father
Royal Commission executive director Justine Gilliland says the Commission is
pleased to be able to hold the hearings in a friendly environment and
contribute to the community while conducting the inquiry into
earthquake-related building failures that caused loss of life.
“These are exceptional times here in Christchurch and, like many
organisations, we’ve had to be adaptable. Although the inquiry has been
underway since May the hearings are the public face of the inquiry and it is
important they are conducted in a suitable venue. We appreciate the support of
the community helping us to make this possible,” says Gilliland.
About the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission
The Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission in Christchurch was established
in response to the building failure and loss of life caused by the Canterbury
earthquake in February 2011.
The purpose of the Commission is to examine issues around the built
environment in the Christchurch central business district and to
inquire into the adequacy of relevant building codes and standards into the
The Commission will provide the Governor-General an interim report by 11
October 2011 and a final report no later than 11 April 2012.
For Further Information:
Senior Communications Advisor
Ph 03 741 3004
Father Antoine Thomas
St Teresa’s Parish
Ph 03 343 2527