NPDC committed to preserving historic cathedral with heritage funding extension

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Earthquake strengthening work on Aotearoa’s oldest stone church has paused due to a cash shortfall, but NPDC funding for the historic building has been guaranteed for the long-haul.

Taranaki Cathedral Church of St Mary/Mere Tapu last year received $150,000, the largest ever single grant from NPDC’s Built, Cultural Heritage Protection Fund, to contribute to the $20 million project.

Normally a grant is valid for a year, but with an $8.5m shortfall announced in April, work was paused while more funds are raised, so NPDC stepped up and guaranteed its funding for the project until 29 February 2028.

“We’re aiming to restart work in another 24 months, so this extension of the NPDC heritage building grant is a welcome boost and we’re hoping it will encourage other contributors to come forward and help too,” said Taranaki Cathedral Dean Jay Ruka.

“The Cathedral has been closed since 2016 and it’s been great to see our community swing behind the project to help preserve a building that’s been a part of our shared heritage since 1846.”

NPDC Manager Strategic Planning Renee Davies said it was important to show a commitment to protecting our history.

“Our heritage buildings are an important part of our history and the identity of our communities, and the heritage building grants help local jobs and businesses who do the work,” said Renee.

Applications for the latest round are now open and building and business owners can apply on our website, Built, Cultural Heritage Protection Fund and Natural Heritage Protection Fund, until 21 June.


In the past nine years, NPDC grants have helped preserve buildings including:​

  • The King’s Building, corner of Brougham and Devon streets ($25,000)​
  • St Mary’s Vicarage, next to Taranaki Cathedral ($75,000)​
  • The White Hart Hotel ($45,000)​
  • The Hooker’s Building, King Street ($75,000)
  • The Old TSB Bank, Devon Street West ($55,000)
  • Val Deakin Dance Centre, St Aubyn Street ($15,000)​
  • Red Post Building, Devon Street East ($50,000)
  • The Colliers Building, Devon Street by the Huatoki Plaza ($18,000)​
  • St Aubyn Chambers, Queen Street ($50,000)​
  • Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Inglewood ($25,000)​
  • St Paul’s Anglican Church, Urenui ($9,500).