p7 For all our virtues, we citizens of Greater Christchurch have our foibles, not the least noticeable of which is a penchant (those who do not care for us might even define it as a mania) for arguing the pros and cons of civic developments to a point where progress is slowed, or even halted. Examples of projects over which differences of opinion, ranging from polite disagreement to bitter wrangling, have occurred are almost legion. Among them are the siting of roads, railways, tunnels ports, canals, statues, memorials, sports facilities, an art gallery, a floral clock - and Town Halls. If this is democracy at work, then the magnificent Town Hall which this booklet commemorates is surely the most democratic town hall in the world.
Let it be clearly understood, however that once the present site was nominated by an overseas expert, Metropolitan Christchurch witnessed an accord unsurpassed in the city's history....It is almost incredible that the oldest (by charter) and largest actual city and, at least musically and architecturally, the leading cultural community in New Zealand should have existed without an adequate and publicly-owned town hall for the whole of its 122 years....Now, at long last, we have provided ourselves with a real Town Hall, it has proved in site, concept, design and construction, an architectural gem. This Town Hall complex, the first stage in what will ultimately be a magnificent Civic Centre, has features unsurpassed in this and, dare we suggest, in many another country. It may be selfish but entirely understandable to be glad that a smaller, less striking building was not erected twenty, forty or eighty years ago.
Brittenden, William James Arnold.
A Dream Come True : The Christchurch Town Hall.
Christchurch: Christchurch Town Hall Committee, 1972.