Media advisory – Monday March 21 2011, 6:00 pm

This information may have been superseded.
For the latest updates, go to the
Media Releases.

State of emergency extended

The national state of emergency has been extended until 27 March.

Community briefings

The second round of community briefings began today. The first was held at Bromley Park, Linwood at 3.30 pm. The second will begin at 6 pm at Woolston Park.

Tomorrow’s meetings are scheduled for:

  • Richmond Park, 3.30 pm
  • St Albans Park, 6 pm

Speakers include representatives from the Christchurch Earthquake Response, Civil Defence, the Earthquake Commission, emergency services, Canterbury District Health Board and Ministry of Social Development.

Lyttelton Service Centre

The Lyttelton Service Centre will be open tomorrow at the Recreation Centre, 25 Winchester Street, Lyttelton.

Spring tide

Spring tides over the weekend resulted in small increases in water levels in sections of the Avon and Heathcote rivers. However water levels did not rise above reinforced stop banks.

There was some localised surface flooding, but it did not exceed kerb height.

Water levels will continue to be monitored.

Vehicle recovery from CBD

Police report that 226 cars were removed from Bedford Row and the Crossing carparks yesterday.

Police will attempt to remove vehicles from the Pavilion carpark this evening and the Manchester Street carpark tomorrow.

1415 cars, out of 4500 vehicles located within the CBD, have been removed since the February 22 earthquake.

Working with businesses

Civil Defence is working closely with businesses located in CBD.

We have provided controlled access inside cordons for 270 businesses, and expect this number to increase to 500 by Friday.

For areas where access can be achieved safely, this is being arranged building-by-building, and for small groups at a time, accompanied by engineers and USAR personnel to ensure their safety. This enables businesses to retrieve essential items.

Around 3500 businesses have registered with the Recover Canterbury. Any business wanting access to the cordon areas should register on if they have not done so already.

Safety is our highest priority and much of the cordoned-off areas remain unsafe. Green-stickered building within this area may be structurally sound, but neighbouring buildings could pose a threat.

To help facilitate access for business owners, a moratorium on new demolitions inside the CBD is in place until Friday. This will ensure there are no trucks, cranes or demolition activity occurring that could pose a threat to business owners who are granted access into the cordoned areas.

Civil Defence continues to work to reduce the size of the cordon.

There have been 139 demolitions or deconstructions, as of last Friday. Of these 17 were signed off by the National Controller without contacting the owners, twelve of which occurred before 8 March.

The remainder were demolished or deconstructed after 8 March. These were necessary for safety reasons, and every attempt was made to contact the owners.

Civil Defence continues to highlight the extent of the damage within the CBD, and the continued safety threats that damage poses, especially in the event of a major aftershock. We have uploaded a 14-minute video of damage in Red Zone.

Demolition accreditation process underway

A demolition accreditation process began on the weekend. Eight firms have received demolition accreditation so far. They are:

  • Nikau Contractors Ltd
  • Ward Demolition
  • Stevensons Earthworks
  • Blakely Construction
  • Taggart Earthmoving Ltd
  • Dormer Construction Ltd
  • Frews Contracting Ltd
  • Southern Demolition and Salvage Ltd

Civil Defence has received around 50 applications and these are being worked through.

Accreditation will allow Civil Defence to operate a robust management process for all demolitions in Christchurch.

It will ensure Civil Defence has control over demolitions, allowing us to direct the limited demolition resources where they are most needed, and ensure debris, including hazardous materials, is appropriately disposed off.

Demolition contractors wishing to undertake demolition work of commercial buildings across Christchurch, and any building within the Red Zone, requires accreditation.

Demolition contractors undertaking commercial or Red Zone demolitions are not allowed to salvage materials. Where possible, goods of value, such as business equipment, will be returned to the owner or tenant. Building materials will be recycled as much as possible.

Demolitions of residential buildings outside of the CBD should be processed through their insurance company. Owners without insurance should contact (03) 941 8999 or 0800 800 169.

For such buildings the salvage rights can be agreed upon between the demolition company and building owner.

All demolition work requires approval from the National Controller.

We welcome further applications for demolition accreditation. Demolition firms are required to provide an overview of their business, resources capability, track record and relevant experience.

Applications can be made at

Metro Sumner Shuttle Service begins today

A special shuttle service between the Ferrymead Bridge and Sumner began today. The shuttle will run every 30 minutes during the day, and will connect with buses to the city from Ferrymead. Heavy vehicles such as buses cannot currently cross the Ferrymead bridge due to a weight restriction. Buses run between 6:10 am and 10:10 pm.

Metro Bus services will remain free to all passengers until Sunday 27 March. For more information on all bus services operating, please visit or phone (03) 366 88 55.

Building assessments and placards

Total commercial buildings across Christchurch: 4362 buildings inspected; 846 red, 993 yellow, 2501 green.
Total residential buildings across Christchurch: 61,438 buildings inspected; 1843 are red.
All buildings within the CBD (4 avenues): 4107 building inspected; 1005 red; 922 yellow; 2159 green.
All heritage buildings (i.e. listed in the City Plan): 957 buildings inspected; 366 red.
A red placard is not a demolition order.

Waste water

Once water is back on, people can use showers, dishwashers and washing machines (‘grey water’ functions). They are asked to check that this wastewater is draining away from sections properly. If there are problems, please contact (03) 941 8999 or 0800 800 169.

Chemical toilets

21,000 chemical toilets have been delivered to residents. There are 20,000 on order to arrive in the coming weeks. There are 245 disposal tanks are in place to collect the chemical toilet waste, with more being rolled out.

Chemical toilets must be emptied at one of these disposal tanks. The locations of these can be found on our map. Waste from chemical toilets must not be disposed of in portaloos or wheelie bins.

Chemical toilets are being provided to improve levels of cleanliness, privacy and security for people living in areas where sewers are broken.

Chemical toilet systems can operate irrespective of weather conditions or geography. These toilets are the best option while we are repairing the sewerage system.

If residents are delivered a chemical toilet, it is because the sewers in their neighbourhood are damaged or full of silt, or both. Please use this chemical toilet for all liquid and solid human waste, and dispose of it in the tanks out on the street.

People with chemical toilets are asked to continue using them, even when their water comes back on, while the sewerage system remains compromised in those areas.

If residents have been away and missed the distribution of chemical toilets, they can contact the call centre on 941 8999 or 0800 800 169.

Once you have received your chemical toilet, please stop using any makeshift toilets, putting any more human waste in the red wheelie bins, or burying in gardens.


The distribution of 300 portaloos began yesterday (Sunday) in the suburbs east of Ferrymead Bridge including Mt Pleasant, St Andrews Hill, Balmoral Hill, Moncks Spur, Moncks Bay, Redcliffs, Clifton, Richmond Hill, Sumner, Scarborough, Taylors Mistake, Heathcote Valley, Ferrymead, Hillsborough, Huntsbury and Bromley.

Distribution is expected to be completed later this week.

Currently 1950 portaloos are out on hire, 64 are available in Christchurch for schools, which have been given a priority. The total number of portaloos in use or ordered is 2918.


Water has been restored to 95 per cent of households. If water is not on at your home, check with your neighbours. If they don’t have water, contact (03) 941 8999 or 0800 800 169.

The EQC are able to help with payments up to $2000 through the emergency works grant.

Water testers are visiting homes across the city to test for any contamination, and to check whether chlorine levels are sufficient. Individual results will not be provided and people still need to boil or treat drinking water even after their supply has been tested. The boil water notice remains in force until lifted.

Residents must continue to conserve water across the city, including Lyttelton. There is a total ban on watering gardens. The Council will advise when this ban is lifted.


Almost all properties outside the CBD are now connected. Orion request any customers still without power phone them on 03 363 9898.

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