In December 2011 the Court Theatre re-opened in a temporary venue, The Shed, located in Addington.  The Court provides year-round professional theatre performances.  It received funding for The Shed from the Appeal Trust, CNZ and Pub Charity.  CCC and CNZ also provide annual funding to the Court Theatre. A new permanent theatre is proposed as part of the Performing Arts Precinct currently being planned as part of the central city rebuild.  CCC will investigate the suitability of The Shed for other theatre and community groups once timing and process are confirmed for the Court to relocate in the central city.

The Isaac Theatre Royal (ITR) re-opened in November 2014 after a major rebuild/restoration project. Prior to the earthquakes, the theatre was one of Christchurch’s main performance venues particularly for opera, ballet, music theatre and touring shows. The Performing Arts Precinct. will be situated beside the ITR. The rebuild has been funded by the Isaac Theatre Royal Trust, the Mayoral Fund CCC, the Appeal Trust, Lottery Significant Projects Fund and private fundraising.

In January 2014 MCH commissioned the Christchurch Venue Overview and Assessment Report.  The impetus for the report came from concerns expressed by the local community regarding the lack of clarity around performing arts related venue development. The report provides an independent, expert view of the current situation and is intended to contribute information to the CERA Planning and Community Toolset (PACT) and assist venue developers and users in their decision making.  You can read the report here.

The Canterbury Cultural Collections Recovery Centre (Cultural Recovery Centre) at the New Zealand Air Force Museum in Wigram was opened in February 2013.  The Museum has made space available for earthquake recovery and collection storage for up to six years.

The Cultural Recovery Centre provides a centralised collection storage and workshop in one secure location.  Air Force Museum staff provide day to day practical help and advice to organisations using the storage facility.  It enables Te Papa’s National Services Te Paerangi (National Services) to provide resources, share expert advice and enable museum professionals to work on conservation projects.  In 2013 Te Papa and Friends of Te Papa funded an intern position at the Cultural Recovery Centre and this position will continue.  This work is central to National Service’s mission to strengthen the museum sector by providing practical and strategic help to museums, galleries and iwi throughout New Zealand. 

The legacy value of the Cultural Recovery Centre is that:

  • cultural collections are saved for return to their existing remediated museums/institutions or new facilities
  • volunteer activity at small museums is maintained. Many museums are heavily dependent on volunteers; some run entirely by volunteers.  Extended periods of closure threaten this workforce just as much, if not more, than the paid workforce
  • there is greatly increased co-operation and financial synergies between Canterbury collecting agencies (plus national linkages).

An advisory board for the Cultural Recovery Centre chaired by the Director of the Air Force Museum includes representatives from National Services, Museums Aotearoa, Canterbury Museum and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.  Day-to-day operations are led and managed by the Air Force Museum.

The Cultural Recovery Centre has provided a special opportunity for the future – that of smaller institutions working together to increase experience and training in managing collections in accordance with international museum (and archive) standards.

The Centre provides a temporary service until 2016 and limited temporary service until 2018.  Long-term solutions for cultural collections and archives are still to be determined.  Funding for this project was provided by central government, the Appeal Trust and fundraising.

Te Papa is the national museum of New Zealand and works with museums, galleries, iwi (tribal groups), and related New Zealand organisations throughout New Zealand. Its role, through its National Services programme, is to improve museum practice and enhance museum services through collaboration.

Te Papa’s response to the Canterbury earthquakes is focused on assisting the rebuild of Christchurch by:

  • providing institutional support through practical recovery assistance, advice and expertise
  • capturing the historical context and telling the stories associated with the earthquakes
  • building and maintaining community morale and resilience through prioritising the delivery of cultural content (e.g. exhibitions and other experiences).

Te Papa’s approach recognises its national responsibilities while respecting the roles of the primary cultural institutions in Canterbury.


Updated on 23rd July 2015