Despite last ditch efforts to stop it, the deconstruction of the badly damaged ChristChurch Cathedral has officially got underway today.
A large crane started work at the site this afternoon, as aftershocks continue to degrade the building.
The plan over the next six weeks is to take out the stained glass windows and bring down the tower.
The church is still deciding how to proceed with further demolition, but the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) said once work has started, it was unlikely to be able to be stopped.
The Wizard of Christchurch is shocked by the development, but said it is difficult to protest today's deconstruction because no one is allowed into the area.
Christchurch City Councillor Aaron Keown said he also appalled that the deconstruction is already underway.
Keown, who has previously said he will chain himself to the cathedral to stop it coming down, says the Anglican Church has lied.
"It's telling the people of Christchurch you've got seven weeks until your building comes down, until your city icon comes down and then doing it in three, I think was a deliberate attempt to 'shift the goal posts' so we couldn't stop them."
Keown said he has not ruled out protest action.
The full deconstruction is expected to take until the end of the year.
- With Newstalk ZB