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St Andrews and the 2007 Gisborne Earthquake


Thurs 20th December 2007, the earth shifted and the city of Gisborne moved. A 6.8 quake hit, twisting, cracking and tumbling masonry.

Fortunately, no one was killed or significantly injured… unfortunately, St Andrew’s Church sustained significant damage.

Built in 1913, of bricks bonded by a mixture of lime and water, the building had withstood a number of earthquakes over the years. However, this quake badly damaged the tower. Other minor structural damage was sustained. Plaster cracked and fell.

The building was closed to the public after the earthquake.

Not only was this a loss to the congregation, it was also a loss to the city.

St Andrew’s Church is a cultural treasure of the city and a Category 2 Historic Building, an iconic landmark in the Downtown area of the City.

Because of its concave ceiling, the buildings acoustics are among the best in the city. The church has an outstanding organ, a grand piano and harpsichord.

Special recitals, choral works, and concerts are frequently held in the building.

The church has witnessed and celebrated the life transitions of many of Gisborne’s citizens.

Now the building has been restored and strengthened for continued public use.