The air force has moved more than 600 tonnes of aid into Christchurch since the city was devastated by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake last Tuesday, with 130 tonnes movedin the last two days.
The Defence Force said 150 aircrew and support personnel were working on the air force effort and 370 passengers have been moved from Christchurch in last 24 hours.
Air force Iroquois helicopters are also set to distribute food.
HMNZS Canterbury was heading back to the Port of Lyttelton after leaving last night for Wellington to restock with aid, which included a fuel tanker, four Telecom vans, four pallets of Telecom equipment, 20 Department of Conservation 4WD vehicles, five Housing New Zealand 4WD vehicles, two pallets of water, two containers of bedding, medical backpacks, two army Unimog trucks, a truck tractor, 12 Bailey bridges, refrigerated containers and three diesel generators.
The ship was due at Lyttelton about 6pm.
The navy was also providing security patrols in Lyttelton from the HMNZS Pukaki, HMNZS Otago and the Canterbury naval reserve base HMNZS Pegasus.
More than 1100 soldiers from the New Zealand Army and 129 from Singapore were still on cordons around the city.
Army engineers moved to Sumner this morning to assist with tasks in this area and 80 soldiers from the four North Island territorial units joined the 164 South Island territorial soldiers.
Army engineers were running a water production unit in New Brighton and army catering teams were producing 1900 breakfasts, 2200 lunches and dinners and 350 midnight meals every day.