WATCH: Sign of the Kiwi restoration

04 Apr 2016

Repairs are under way for the restoration of the historic Sign of the Kiwi.

Workers have moved in to begin setup for the earthquake repair and strengthening work of the Council-owned heritage building, nestled in the Port Hills.

A popular café before it was closed due to earthquake damage in February 2011, the Sign of the Kiwi is due to be handed back to the tenant in October 2016.

Christchurch City Council Heritage Rebuild Programme Manager Richie Moyle said the Sign of the Kiwi was a treasure of national significance.

"As part of this, we'll be deconstructing and rebuilding two fire place walls, the eastern gable wall and three columns. It's a painstaking process that involves numbering each stone to ensure they're placed back correctly. Some stones simply won't be able to be retained, but we hope to keep at least 90 percent of the original stone."

The engraved beam above the doorway, so familiar to Cantabrians, will be taken down as the two supporting pillars are rebuilt, and then reinstated, Mr Moyle said.

"The building and its setting are listed as a Category One with Heritage New Zealand, which means it's going to be restored with tender loving care, and will be a prime spot for a visit once it's back up and running," he said.

The building walls would be "tied" together with a diaphragm and all the floors lifted to remediate the piles.

The toilet block would be still be open to walkers and cyclists over the coming months.

"This is an iconic Canterbury building that has been clearly missed by cyclists and walkers and it will be great to have it back up and running," Mr Moyle said.

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