That concludes our latest updates for today. Join us for ongoing coverage tomorrow. Thanks.
A third of Christchurch households remain disconnected from the city's water supply following last week's earthquake.
Water had been restored to 67 per cent of households and tankers were delivering water to areas without supply.
People were reminded to boil all water before drinking, including tanker water, de-salinated water and normal tap water.
If people were unable to boil they were advised to add 1 teaspoon of bleach for every 10 litres of water and leave for 30 minutes before drinking.
Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) advised people to stay away from all beaches between the Waimakariri River and Lyttelton Harbour, which were contaminated with sewage.
"Testing has confirmed that water at some Christchurch beaches is contaminated at levels that could make people very ill from contact," said medical officer of health Ramon Pink.
It was "extremely important" for people to follow this advice due to the risk of gastroenteritis outbreaks, Dr Pink said.
Universities and other tertiary institutions in quake-ravaged Christchurch are making alternative arrangements for their students, including a chance to study abroad, following last week's 6.3 magnitude tremor.
Canterbury University today announced up to 500 undergraduate students would be given the opportunity to spend one semester at The University of Adelaide in Australia.
The students would not be charged any additional fees but would have to pay for their accommodation.
University of Adelaide vice chancellor and president James McWha said the two organisations had a special relationship having collaborated on a number of projects.
"Our sympathy and understanding extends to the people of Christchurch, and we see this as an opportunity to strengthen the ties between our two institutions at a time when it is most needed," he said.
Speaking in Christchurch today, Canterbury University vice chancellor Rod Carr said while a semester abroad was a fantastic opportunity for a small number of students, many others also needed support.
"Recognising that some of our buildings may take a little time to access for their structural integrity, and that we already know that some of those spaces will not be available to us, we are today commissioning the build of 8000 sq m of single-storey space on the university oval," he said.
The news buildings would be up and running in eight weeks, with spaces for lectures, seminars, study groups and staff offices.
Prime Minister John Key says an Israeli search and rescue group which was refused entry into Christchurch's inner-city cordon following last week's quake was not a United Nations approved team.
The rescue team was organised by the families of Ofir Levy and Gabi Ingel, who were both killed in last Tuesday's quake.
Hilik Magnus, a member of the team sent over by the families, told Israeli newspaper Haaretz he was annoyed they were not able to help.
"The fact that they are ignoring us, a group comprised of individuals with internationally renowned experience is inexplicable, and cannot be comprehended," he said.
But Mr Key said this afternoon the group was not United Nations accredited.
"The Israeli team was not part of a UN-accredited team, it was a private group organisation put together, he said.
"We have had a wide range of offers of help, and we've largely taken those, but we've also said no to a lot of teams because we feel we have enough people on the ground."
Mr Key said he had been in contact with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the two Israeli citizens whose bodies were located in the Manchester Street area.
Their bodies, along with that of a third Israeli citizen killed in the quake, had been returned to Israel.
Ofir Levy's father Moti Levy earlier told NZPA the family was devastated when Israeli police told them Ofir had died in the quake.
"We are trying to cope and to start to imagine how we can live without our son," Mr Levy said.
The Fire Service fears strong winds may bring down the historic Time Ball station in Lyttelton, Radio New Zealand reports.
Lyttelton's chief fire officer, Mark Buckley, told the broadcaster he was called to the building by people working on site who believe the station has moved since the earthquake.
He says the station appears to be very unsound and vulnerable to strong winds.
Only one home is believed to be in its path and the road below it is already closed because of the earthquake.
It is one of only a handful of surviving time ball stations around the world.
Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker has also said it was too early to comment on when the CBD will be opened, but "I'm determined that as much of the CBD will be opened as quickly as possible".
But One News reported that Central City Business Association manager Paul Lonsdale estimated up to 60 per cent of the CBD's buildings might have to be knocked down.
Some Christchurch people are getting too possessive with the portaloos in their street.
With water supply and sewerage systems out in many areas of the earthquake-torn city, community portable toilets have been placed in many streets.
"In some cases...someone has taken a particular shine to a portaloo...and they have pulled it up their driveway in order to have frequent and free access to it," Mayor Bob Parker said today.
"I am sure that is great for the person who gets it closest to their back door but to all intents and purposes it disappears off the streets."
There were a few cases reported of this happening and Mr Parker asked residents to handle it at a local level.
"Can you just knock on your neighbour's door...and actually suggest to them that is a very anti-social thing."
More than 5000 analogue phones have been distributed to quake-affected Christchurch residents - and more are on the way.
Telecom had a "fantastic" response after asking New Zealanders to donate their old telephones so those without power were still able to make phone calls, Telecom chief executive officer Paul Reynolds said.
Meanwhile, more than 55,000 calls have been made from 260 free Telecom payphones around Christchurch.
Free gas cylinder refills will continue to be available at three Christchurch sites until Friday, but free refills at other sites will not be available after 5pm today.
Contact Energy has refilled more than 12,000, 9 kilogram cylinders since Friday last week to help those devastated by last Tuesday's quake.
Contact managing director David Baldwin said free refills would now just be available until Friday 5pm in areas of the city which had been most impacted by the earthquake.
"We want to help where we can, and there is not a person in the Christchurch community that doesn't need support. However as the needs of the worst hit areas of the community emerge, our support will increasingly move to where need is greatest."
Filling stations open until Friday 5pm are -
* Butler Automart in Richmond.
* Mobil Wainoni.
* Contact Rockgas in Sydenham.
Earthquake recovery minister Gerry Brownlee has dismissed reports Christchurch city centre will not be open for months as "speculation".
Christchurch Central City Business Association manager Paul Lonsdale was reported earlier today saying it would be "some months" before parts of the CBD were accessible to the public.
Mr Brownlee said there was no timeline in place for how long it would take to reopen the CBD.
His officials would not assess that until the bodies of all those who died there in last week's earthquake had been recovered, he said.
"There are still trying to recover bodies in there. I don't have time for endless speculation."
Satellite pictures of earthquake-damaged Christchurch have been taken by Google Earth partner GeoEye, showing the extent of some of the destruction.
The GeoEye-1 satellite passed over Christchurch on Thursday, two days after the 6.3-magnitude quake struck the city.
Some parts are covered in clouds but substantial portions of the central business district are clearly visible.
The images can be viewed on Google Earth, which needs to be installed on your computer, or a selection can be seen on the Picasa website at this link.
The earlier images were taken in 2009.
Canterbury DHB chief executive David Meates has invoked memories of Hurricane Katrina to justify evacuating hundreds of elderly out of the Christchurch in the wake of last week's earthquake.
Many frail elderly were not moved out of unsafe facilities in the aftermath of the devastating hurricane that hit New Orleans in 2005.
Many died, while others endured horrific sanitary conditions while waiting for evacuation.
Mr Meates said that memory was in his mind when he decided to evacuate more than 300 residents of rest homes around Christchurch.
Staff were taking care of elderly in damaged buildings and high pressure conditions, he said.
"I want to assure everyone that the decision to move residents was not made lightly. I know staff are feeling very upset about the way they have had to operate, without the luxury of time to work with families as they usually would.
"They know just how fragile many of the resthome residents are, as they care for them day in and day out. In many cases, they have been working in facilities where it was just not possible to keep residents safe. We can not, and will not allow vulnerable people to stay in situations of avoidable risk."
Auckland Libraries are offering a free 3-month membership to Christchurch evacuees. They will also return their books to Christchurch for them. See here for more info.
A Japanese television reporter's media accreditation within the Christchurch central cordon has been revoked after he shouldered Canterbury police commander Superintendent Dave Cliff this morning.
The incident happened at the end of an interview and came out of the blue, a police spokeswoman said.
It was not clear why the reporter was upset. He had not been charged but such behaviour would not be tolerated, she said.
The shouldering was definitely not an accident. If it had been he would not have had his accreditation revoked, she said.
There are about 500 accredited media from around the world in Christchurch.
Civil Defence manages the accreditations and a spokesman said he was only aware of one reporter having accreditation revoked.
The New Zealand contingent had been exceptional and very respectful, the police spokeswoman said.
There is still a chance the Rugby World Cup will go ahead in Christchurch, Prime Minister John Key says.
A blogger writes with heartfelt sadness of the destruction of his home town.
New Zealanders will be able to wind down after a long week of work with a cold glass of beer, and at the same time help those in quake-devastated Christchurch.
The promotion is being organised by the Society of Beer Advocates and the Brewers' Guild of New Zealand. The bars are Andrew Andrew in Auckland, House on Hood in Hamilton, Bar Edward in Wellington, The Freehouse in Nelson, The Old Bank in Blenheim and a venue yet to be announced in Dunedin.
The bars will have a minute's silence at 7pm followed by a earthquake fund-raising auction.
If you haven't done so already, check out some of the chilling experiences recounted by earthquake victims in our Voices of Christchurch special feature - captured by videographer Geoffrey Bell.
The Accident Compensation Corporation's bill from the Christchurch earthquake has been put at $370 million, says ACC Minister Nick Smith.
Beaurepaires - noted for the 'Vince Martin' identity in its advertisements - is offering free tyre repairs for all passenger, rescue and emergency vehicles in the Christchurch area.
Up to 500 University of Canterbury students will study at the University of Adelaide this semester after the Australian university offered places to its quake-affected counterpart.
Adelaide is Christchurch's sister city.
Canterbury Uni Vice-Chancellor Rod Carr says he is delighted with the offer which will "address some short-term issues and advance long-term plans".
The Red Cross reports an overwhelming tide of support in the past 24 hours for their official Christchurch earthquake appeal. The total now stands at $11.6m - up $4m from yesterday. That's some awesome generosity ...
Here's where you can download a Christchurch Earthquake Support sticker for your Facebook page.
TIMARU EXPANDS: The 7000 Christchurch "refugees" who have relocated to Timaru now make up 20 per cent of its population.
Adventurer and wild man Bear Grylls has paid this tribute following the Christchurch quake:
"It's been a real privilege to be in New Zealand at this time and stand alongside you guys and everything you guys are going through as a nation," he said at a press conference this morning.
"I kind of think when terrible things happen it brings people together and if there's one thing I've learned about New Zealanders is that you're tough and you're resilent and you will come back - that's why you're so damn good at rugby."
One in three commercial buildings in the centre of Christchurch may be demolished after last week's earthquake, says Prime Minister John Key.
For every one of those buildings to be demolished, geotechnical work would have to be done on the land, possibly with deep piles to reach solid ground, Mr Key told Newstalk ZB today.
The rebuild of Christchurch would be "a 15-year job", he said.
Japanese rugby fans have raised more than $60,000 for victims of the Christchurch earthquake.
The money was collected on Sunday at the Japan Cup final, between Suntory Sungoliath and Sanyo Wild Knights in Tokyo.
Japan's national rugby coach is former All Black John Kirwan.
For those Christchurch people who have arrived in Auckland and need some assistance, Civil Defence have created this page full of handy information.
Holden New Zealand says the General Motors Foundation is providing a US$200,000 ($268,000) grant to help provide disaster relief services to earthquake-stricken areas in and around Christchurch.
Wellington venue San Francisco Bath House in Cuba St is hosting a concert to benefit victims of the Christchurch earthquake this Saturday night.
Face masks are being handed out around Christchurch as strong wind gusts blow tonnes of dust around city streets.
The northerly wind carrying gusts of up to 70km/hr was blowing up the tonnes of material displaced by last week's earthquake, MetService reports.
Weather ambassador Bob McDavitt said that may pose a health risk to residents dealing with the sanitation problems caused by broken infrastructure.
An influx of people from Christchurch into Nelson has impacted the local foodbank and has prompted an appeal for donations.
Nelson Tasman Emergency Manager Roger Ball says it's not just those arriving from down south who need assistance. Nelson families who are hosting Christchurch families are finding their own resources are limited.
Donations can be made at Countdown on Paru Paru Road and St Vincent street, New World on Vanguard Street, and Stoke, and Fresh Choice on Collingwood Street.
The NZ Musician website has a round-up of what's happening on the Christchurch music scene, one week after the earthquake.
Residents of 60 homes in Sumner remain evacuated due to a significantly unstable cliff face above their properties, says Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker.
Britain's Abela Publishing, run by expat Kiwi John Halsted, is offering ten old and out of print books to raise funds for the Earthquake Appeal. £3 or approx NZ$6.40 from the sale of each book will be donated. Go to their website to order your copy.
Fire Service spokesman Russell Smith said teams had now travelled up to the 10th floor of the severely damaged Grand Chancellor Hotel and confirmed there was no-one inside.
They had also shored up a wall at the Christchurch Cathedral to allow teams access to up to 22 bodies inside, he said.
High winds were an issue for search and rescue this morning as they posed an issue to already unstable and damaged buildings, he said.
Fonterra confirmed today that the Fonterra Earthquake Relief Fund will contribute more than $3 million to the relief effort.
Fonterra staff and farmer shareholders have so far donated more than $1 million.
Chief Executive Andrew Ferrier said donations were still coming in. "Fonterra matched the first $1 million dollar-for-dollar, and we are going to continue doing that."
Police have named three more Christchurch earthquake victims this morning as the death toll rises to 159. Four bodies were recovered this morning.
Those victims named today were Jayden Andrews-Howland, 15, from Aranui, Paul Clarence Dunlop, 67, from Rolleston, and Andrew Stephen Cochrane, 43, of Bromley.
Superintendent Dave Cliff said police expected to name more in the very near future.
Television personality Jason Gunn and his wife Janine Morrell-Gunn have launched a website, Adopt a Christchurch Family, where people can "adopt" families badly affected by last week's devastating quake.
"From America, from Europe, the response has been incredible. It's really heartwarming," Gunn told Newstalk ZB today.
More than 27,000 people are still without power more than a week after the devastating earthquake in Christchurch.
Orion CEO Roger Sutton said most of those without power are in the eastern suburbs of the city, which has sustained a "huge amount" of damage to its infrastructure.
Reticulated water is now back on in 67 per cent of Christchurch homes, mayor Bob Parker says.
That is a "remarkable achievement" given the scale of damage last Tuesday's earthquake caused to the city's infrastructure, he said.
The Ministry of Justice says essential court services are being maintained in Christchurch and alternative arrangements put in place to support remaining services.
Phone enquiries can be made to a centralised call centre on 0800 324 627.
There's been a further warning to stay away from beaches in the Christchurch area. Surf clubs are not operating and there is a hazard from stormwater and waste going into the ocean.
New Zealand cricket captain Daniel Vettori has put his entire collection of cricket memorabilia up for auction to raise money for the Christchurch earthquake appeal.
Here's three useful links that may assist you or your family if you are facing unprecedented stress:
1. Possible Psychological Reactions to an Earthquake (Web Health)
2. Parents' Information Sheet on Dealing With Stress Symptoms in Children (Web Health).
3. Coping with Stress (Ministry of Health).
As of 7pm yesterday a total of 12,250 properties had been safety assessed, says Civil Defence.
8,693 properties have been green stickered, 2,113 have been yellow stickered and 1,444 have been red stickered.
The congestion on Christchurch roads has seen public transport fast tracked back into service in every area possible.
Most normal bus services will be running in western and northern areas between 7am and 7pm from tomorrow.
Telecom is putting a credit through to all residential landline customers in Christchurch and neighbouring towns for any national and international calls made last week.
The number of arrests overnight in Christchurch was five.
This includes two men who broke into abandoned quake-damaged houses.
Police Central District Commander Superintendent Russell Gibson told TVNZ's Breakfast one person was caught breaching the cordon around the CBD, and two people tried to break into a bar in a quake-affected suburb.
An insurance expert offers some useful tips to those with properties affected by the earthquake, on interest.co.nz.
Refugees living in Christchurch before last week's earthquake have left the city in droves, the Refugees as Survivors group says.
Chief executive Gary Poole says about 230 refugees from places like Ethiopia, Somalia and Afghanistan arrived at the Whenuapai Air Force base yesterday.
He says many of their houses had been damaged and they weren't intending to return to Christchurch.
Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker tells TVNZ he is already "rubbing his eyes and coughing a little bit" from dust being stirred up by strong winds in the city.
The winds - gusting up to 90km/h - are expected to ease about noon.
Mayor Parker says there will be "choking clouds of dust in some areas of the city".
He advises to wear face masks to reduce irritation from the dust, which is not believed to be toxic.
A 3.5 magnitude earthquake struck 10km north of Lyttelton at a depth of 6km at 7.22am, GNS Science reports.
Police Superintendent Russell Gibson tells Radio New Zealand a number of bodies were found overnight and should be in the care of police in the next hour or so.
Mr Gibson says workers at the Pyne Gould Corporation building in the central city paused work this morning for a karakia - or Maori prayer - organised by a British contractor at the site.
He says workers took five minutes out for the "lovely ceremony" at 5.30am.
"There were quite a few tears shed and when that finished they went back to work."
Mr Gibson says some of the personnel worked through the night so had missed yesterday's two minutes' silence and wanted to pay tribute.
"I think it was their way of reflecting on the horrendous job that they had been doing."
Rescuers at the site still hope to find survivors, he says.
"There's always hope - they live on that - but the reality is it fades."
Radio New Zealand says 12 more victims of the earthquake are expected to be named by police today, taking the list of officially identified victims to 28 of the 155 confirmed dead.
GNS Science has not listed any aftershocks on its website since 10.42pm yesterday. The last reported earthquake measured 4.6 on the Richter scale and was centred 10km west of Lyttelton at a depth of 5km.
The Red Cross says it hopes to soon start distributing the money raised in its earthquake appeal.
An independent commission will meet today to decide who will receive the money.
Red Cross chief executive John Ware says initially money will be distributed in the way of hardship grants.
Superintendent Russell Gibson tells Newstalk ZB the death toll has increased but he has not had confirmation of the number. He thinks it is around 158 with another three bodies being pulled from the PGC building overnight.
Police say there were number of arrests in Christchurch overnight.
Two men were caught trying to break in to a quake-damaged bar, outside the CBD.
A person who got through the CBD cordon was also arrested.
Police also chased down two offenders in the suburbs, and found they'd stolen jewellery from a number of quake-damaged houses.
- NZHERALD STAFF, NEWSTALK ZB, NZPA, AGENCIES
© Copyright 2013, APN Holdings NZ Limited
Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a5 at 14 Dec 2013 03:14:20 Processing Time: 408ms