Old St Paul's embarks on ground breaking project


Fundraising for a multi-million-dollar project to strengthen historic Old St Paul’s in central Wellington is underway ahead of its temporary closure next year to allow work to be carried out.

Old St Paul’s is a national treasure cared for by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, with support from the Friends of Old St Paul’s, on behalf of the country.  Completed in 1866, the building will be closed from May to October 2019 to undertake works so that it can remain a safe, popular, internationally-recognised and admired heritage place for visitors to enjoy. 

"This unique, timber, Gothic revival building has stood steadfast for 152 years while those around it have come and gone," says Manager Heritage Assets Central, Paulette Wallace.

"Sadly, it didn’t completely escape the impact of the Kaikoura earthquake in November 2016 and, while safe for the public to still visit today, it requires strengthening work.  Under the tagline #ForeverOSP we are forging ahead with the project to strengthen and future-proof Old St Paul’s so people of all ages, persuasions and occasions can enjoy.

"Today Old St Paul’s is the heartbeat of the community from births to deaths and everything in between, including concerts, exhibitions and presentations.  Everyone is welcome."

The project will involve internal structural strengthening, external work to repair cracking and painting, and fire and electrical upgrades.  When complete it will bring the building’s current seismic rating of above 34 percent to 90-100 percent.

A 'donation station' has been installed at Old St Paul’s for visitors to help contribute to the #ForeverOSP project, with tap-and-go options of $5, $15 and $25 suggested for donations – but of course, any cash or card donation is appreciated.  Project costs will be covered by Heritage New Zealand, with the remainder from key donors, in particular the Friends of Old St Paul’s, the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board and the public through on-site donations.

"This is an opportunity for those passionate about our heritage to be a part of its history by contributing to its ongoing use and enjoyment," says Paulette.

"Heritage New Zealand is the guardian of the building, but it is owned by all New Zealanders – it belongs to the nation.  The 'donation station' uses new technology that aims to make donating as simple as possible but may represent a bit of a change to regular visitors.  Initial support for the fundraising has been encouraging and confirms the high regard that people have for Old St Paul’s."

For more information:

Paulette Wallace
Manager Heritage Assets Central
tel: (04) 494 8048 or  027 298 4359
email: pwallace@heritage.org.nz