Anyone tuning into TVNZ's 6pm new bulletin last night might have done a double take if they had the subtitles turned on.

That's because the phrase "rubber knickers" accidentally snuck into a 1 News live cross about the out of control bush fires in Christchurch.

The mistake happened during a dramatic report from Alison Pugh, who delivered her cross expertly while smoke billowed up from the fire behind her.

* Read our Christchurch fire live blog here.

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But when she said," Rubber neckers are coming over the hillside to get a closer look," the show's subtitles had a slightly different interpretation.

It said: "Rubber 'knickers' are coming over the hillside to get a closer look."

A TVNZ spokesperson said the subtitles were supplied by a company called Able and "a typo obviously slipped through".

The fire is continuing its rampage today, with a state of emergency declared in Christchurch and Selwyn, and about 1000 people evacuated.

TVNZ's BReakfast show is on air until 10am covering the Christchurch fire.