A New Zealand court has halted the planned demolition of earthquake-damaged Christchurch Cathedral until further notice.
The Great Christchurch Buildings Trust (GCBT) went to the High Court at Christchurch in October saying the cathedral's owner is breaching a 2003 Act protecting church buildings, and that it has a moral and legal responsibility to save it.
A decision by High Court Justice Lester Chisolm was released on Thursday afternoon.
He ruled a judicial review must consider the decision to partially deconstruct and partially demolish the church. He also said demolition work must be stopped until further notice.
No date has been set for the judicial review.
The church's owner, Church Property Trustees, decided in March to bring the building down to a level of two to three metres to meet safety standards.
Apart from the deconstruction of what remained of the tower, no major steps had been taken to implement the decision.
GCBT, led by former MP Jim Anderton, argued the purpose of the trust was to maintain and repair the cathedral and the decision to demolish it 'defeats that central purpose of the trust'.
The church had argued that two paragraphs in the Act which stated that the trust can 'build on or develop any property whatsoever' gives it the ability to deconstruct the building.
Bishop Victoria Matthews told Radio New Zealand the church would take time to consider the decision.