Christchurch Central Police Station

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Christchurch Central Police Station in February 2013

The Christchurch Central Police Station is the former headquarters of the Canterbury Police District. Once the tallest building in Christchurch, New Zealand, it was damaged in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake and demolished by implosion on 31 May 2015.


The Christchurch Central Police Station was located in the block defined by Cambridge Terrace, Hereford Street, Montreal Street, and Cashel Street. From here, Police controlled the Canterbury Police District, which stretches from the Conway River in the north to the Waitaki River in the south, with the Main Divide forming the western boundary.[1]


The 15-storey high-rise was designed in 1968 by the Ministry of Works for the New Zealand Police.[2] It was opened in 1973 and at 50 metres (160 ft) high, it was the tallest building in Christchurch until it was succeeded by the University of Canterbury's library building a year later.

Whilst the Police never vacated the building after the earthquake, staff had ongoing concerns over its stability. In December 2011, Police announced that they would move to new temporary offices over the next few months.[3] The building owner, Ngai Tahu, announced in April 2014 that the building would be demolished.[4] In November 2014, it was announced that the demolition would be carried out by implosion.[5]


In early March 2015, it was reported on social media that the implosion was scheduled for 18 April, and as even some mainstream media outlets reported that date, the contractor issued an official statement that no date had been set yet.[6] In early May, it was announced that the implosion was scheduled for Saturday morning, 30 May 2015, with the Sunday morning as a bad-weather alternative.[7] The organisers of the Christchurch Marathon found out about the implosion through the media; the marathon was to go through the Hereford / Cambridge intersection on Sunday morning.[8] As a result, the implosion was delayed until 5pm on the Sunday.[9]


  1. ^ "Canterbury Police District". New Zealand Police. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  2. ^ Royal Commission 2012, p. 118.
  3. ^ "Police abandon Christchurch stations". 29 December 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  4. ^ "Abandoned police station to be demolished". Retrieved 11 April 2014.
  5. ^ Mathewson, Nicole (24 November 2014). "Police tower will be imploded". The Press. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
  6. ^ Mathewson, Nicole (4 March 2015). "When will Christchurch police station implode?". The Press. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  7. ^ Stewart, Ashleigh (11 May 2015). "Christchurch police station implosion on May 30". The Press. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  8. ^ Mack, Ben (13 May 2015). "Christchurch marathon organisers: Delay police station implosion". The Press. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  9. ^ Hume, Myles (31 May 2015). "Watch: Christchurch's central police station implosion". The Press. Retrieved 29 July 2016.


Preceded by
BNZ Building
Tallest building in Christchurch
Succeeded by
James Hight Building