Christchurch Heritage: in both name & history!

Heritage reopens!

A pre-quake photo I took on a day I was having a day spa here!


Passing this info on: wonderful news as yet more of Christchurch resumes!


"Heritage Christchurch opened its Old Government Building (OGB) doors on 1 August with a ‘soft opening,’ as the century old iconic building sparked to life again.

Heading the  opening team is Vicki Bretherton:

"I am absolutely delighted to be back in Christchurch in Cathedral Square, the heart of Canterbury. Like many of the team here, I feel very privileged to welcome guests to such an elegant building of great historic significance and be part of the rebuild and future of this great city,” says Vicki Bretherton.

Almost all the hotel staff are Cantabrians, including Sarah McIvor, front office duty manager who having left for Australia after the February 2011 earthquake, returned when she heard the Christchurch CBD was reopening.

“The reason I returned to Christchurch was to be part of the rebuild. When I heard the CBD was opening I dropped everything and got on the first plane back from Australia. Becoming part of the team reopening this amazing hotel is magic,” says Sarah McIvor.

Gary Jarvis the general manager of Heritage Christchurch for the past six years, which included two years of overseeing the extensive refurbishment of the grand Old Government Building, has been promoted to group operations manager for Heritage Hotel Management.

“Heritage Christchurch’s restoration has been a labour of love and I am personally delighted it has worn the test of time and seismic events to remain a vital part of Christchurch’s priceless heritage,” says Gary Jarvis.

The 100 year old OGB building, designed by Joseph Clarkson Maddison, is registered as a category one building on the Historic Places Trust register and has been described as of ‘monumental significance’ by architectural heritage experts.

The building was awarded the Christchurch Heritage Trust Built Heritage Award in 2010 and the New Zealand Seismic Award 2012 in the Canterbury Heritage awards.

The Heritage Christchurch, first opened in 1996 as a luxury hotel, was relatively unscathed in the 22 February 2011 earthquake, but remained inside the imposed red zone cordon for over two years whilst renovation plans were finalised.

The Heritage Christchurch’s Old Government Building will be formally reopened on Friday 20 September by His Excellency, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, GNZM, QSO, Governor-General of New Zealand.

Author: Heather - the kiwi travel writer

Nomadic travel-writer, photographer, author & blogger. See more on and Amazon for my books (heather hapeta)

3 thoughts on “Christchurch Heritage: in both name & history!”

  1. Thanks mate. Sweet as indeed. It’s great news to read of the OGB opening. I’d worked in Antarctica for 2 Austral Summers (’03-04 & ’04-’05 respectively) and tramped around NZ a great deal.

    Canterbury, the South Island for me is tops!

    I hope this is a sign of things to come for Chch. For the city desperately needs to showcase this gem of an area again.

    My wife and I took an extended holiday to Melbourne, Sydney, Wellington and Chch during Christmas-New year’s time.

    Suffice to say Chch’s CBD gutted me. I’ve mates whom still live in the area and their both elated and frustrated with the slow progress by the Chch City Council.

    I’ve a Kiwi mate, Stuart Alpe whom I hiked Brunei, Borneo’s jungles with for 2 years. Stuart worked/ lived in Brunei for 20 years and recently moved permanently back to his native NZ. Near Chch in Rangiora.

    He too has traveled extensively. You can see, read of Stu’s adventures at

    Thanks for the update and safe travels mate.

    ~ Paul


    1. glad you liked it … I lived inner city chch and left after the quakes but not because of the shakes! Decision to move had been made 4 months earlier … so I support the city I was born and bred in via travel info on FB and my blogs;:)))


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