Category Archives: Welfare

Christchurch Earthquake Response – Saturday 2 April 2011

Issued: 2 April 2011

Civil Defence continues to make progress on the huge workload required to get people and businesses in Christchurch back on their feet after the devastating 22 February earthquake.

The focus for Civil Defence is getting the boil water notice lifted, sorting traffic issues, making the central city safe to enable businesses and residents back in to return and to recover sewerage systems and other services and facilities.

Here are some hints and contacts to get you and your family back to (the new) normal.

Where to find help

  • For financial assistance, phone the Government Helpline on 0800 779 997.
  • Recovery Assistance Centres are still open around the city, as well as Recovery Information Kiosks which have opened throughout Christchurch. Go to our page on Welfare.
  • Support and counselling is available on 0800 777 846.
  • For emergency accommodation, phone 0800 HELP (0800 435 700). If you are a Housing New Zealand tenant with a damaged home, call 0800 801 601.
  • Maori and Pacific people can contact Te Runanga O Ngai Tahu ( 0800 524 8248) or Te Puni Kokiri (; 0800 875 839).
  • Schools and early childhood education information is available from the Ministry of Education. Visit, phone 0800 22 55 80 or follow @MinEducationNZ on Twitter.
  • For pets lost, found and fostered, visit, or Trade Me.

Health and hygiene

  • Boil water for drinking and food preparation until further notice.
  • If you have a chemical toilet and neighbourhood disposal tank, or if there is a port-a-loo near you, the sewerage system in your area is particularly vulnerable. Use these temporary measures if you can or minimise flushing.
  • To report where raw sewage leaks are located, phone(03) 941 8999 or 0800 800 169.
  • Wash your hands and use hand sanitiser frequently.
  • Get a flu vaccination.
  • Rivers, the estuary and the sea are contaminated.Keep out of all Christchurch waterways.
  • Go to our Health information page.

Getting around

Safety and security

  • A total fire ban is in place. For your safety, don’t use gas bottles or barbecues inside.
  • Take care with the electricity supply to your property if you are switching it on for the first time. Visit our electricity page for important information and contact an electrician or Orion on (03) 363 9898 if you have any doubt.
  • If you need urgent emergency repairs to make your home weatherproof, secure and sanitary, phone 0800 DAMAGE (0800 326 243).
  • Get your fireplace or any heating device checked by a builder or heating specialist. Have working smoke alarms and a home escape plan in place.

Council services

  • Kerbside collection has returned to normal throughout the city, except inside the cordon zones.
  • Pioneer and Jellie Park Recreation & Sport Centres will re-open on Monday 4 April from 5 am – 10 pm weekdays and 6 am – 9 pm weekends.
  • For rates, service centres, libraries and other Council services and facilities, visit


  • If you are in the suburbs where chemical toilets and disposal tanks have been distributed, please use the chemical toilet, even if your toilet is flushing because the sewers maybe damaged or full of silt. See our Toilets page.
  • If you are outside the suburbs where chemical toilets and disposal tanks have been distributed and your toilet is flushing and draining away, you can use it sparingly. However, check that it isn’t draining onto your or your neighbour’s property. If it is, contact a drainlayer and in the meantime, use the portable toilet in your street/neighbourhood. But if you don’t have a portable toilet nearby, ring the call centre 941 8999.
  • However, if a portable toilet is on a street nearby, please consider using it when you can to help ease pressure on the overall network.

Let us know you’re home
If you registered with Red Cross before leaving town, please call again on 0800 RED CROSS (0800 733 276) to let us know you’re back.

More information

  • Christchurch City Council: 941 8999
  • Earthquake Government Helpline: 0800 779 997
  • Earthquake Commission (EQC): 0800 326 243
  • Orion (electricity): 363 9898
  • Quake Support and Counselling: 0800 777 846
  • Housing NZ Emergency Assistance: 0800 435 700
  • Ministry of Education Helpline: 0800 225 580

Public Information Update – 1745 hrs, Thursday 31 March 2011

Reduction in hours of RACs and Work and Income Service Centres

  • The number of people seeking assistance through Recovery Assistance Centres (RACs) and service centres during weekends is now low.
  • As a result, hours will be reduced this coming weekend to the following:
    Saturday 2 April 2011
    All Recovery Assistance Centres will be open from 9.00 am – 12 noon. These include:

    • Linwood Community Link, 154 Aldwins Road, Linwood
    • Wainoni Aranui Family Centre, 31 Hampshire Street, Wainoni
    • Parklands Baptist Church, 180 Queenspark Drive, Parklands
    • St Faith’s Hall, 46 Hawke Street, New Brighton
    • Nga Hau e Wha Marae, 250 Pages Road, Aranui
    • Delta Community Support Trust, 105 North Avon Road, Richmond
    • Sydenham Community Centre, 23-25 Hutcheson Street, Sydenham
    • Lyttelton Recreation Centre, 25 Winchester Street, Lyttelton

    The following Work and Income Centres will be open from 10.00 am – 2.00 pm

    • Riccarton
    • Linwood
    • Hornby
    • All others will be closed on Saturday.

    Sunday 3 April 2011
    All Recovery Assistance Centres and Work and Income Service Centres will be closed.

Vehicle retrieval update

  • Police have been retrieving vehicles from the Farmers car park today after contractors spent the night reinforcing access ramps into the building.
  • Work on retrieving vehicles from levels one and two of the Smiths City car park is continuing, with the assistance of contractors and the building owner. A crane is being used to lift the cars out of the building.
  • Vehicle owners will be contacted by the Police after their vehicle is retrieved.
  • People with vehicles in other areas of the CBD, who haven’t done so already, are being urged to take their keys to the Vehicle Recovery Team, located at the Armagh St entrance to Hagley Park. Vehicle owners should bring proof of ownership and photo identification, such as a driver licence. The team is available between 7 am and 8 pm daily.