That concludes our latest updates for this evening. We'll be back tomorrow with more coverage from Canterbury
The first power generator airlifted from Australia kicked into gear in Christchurch today as energy provider Orion closes in on restoring power to the earthquake-ravaged city.
The 7-1/2-tonne apparatus, which can power up to 200 properties, was freighted from Townsville to Christchurch by the New Zealand air force on Sunday.
It had to be dismantled to squeeze into the C130 Hercules and then reassembled before being transported to a location in Sumner, one of the suburbs worst affected by the February 22 disaster.
More generators from Gough Power Services are also scheduled to be brought across the Tasman.
A spokesman for Orion said about 3300 consumers in Christchurch's struggling eastern suburbs were still without power but it was hoped that number would be halved by late tomorrow.
Most Christchurch residents have had power restored to their properties, with only 8900 households still without electricity
Ninety-eight percent of Christchurch has power but that excludes those in the central business district.
The Canterbury District Health Board is conducting a phone survey of quake-weary Christchurch residents in an effort to find out which health services and support they need.
Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Alistair Humphrey said many Christchurch residents were still living without basic services such as sewerage, power and clean drinking water.
"People without these essential services are at the greatest risk of illness at the moment. We need to get a better picture of the health risks they face,'' Dr Humphrey said.
"I know telephone surveys can be an irritant but I would urge any Christchurch residents who are contacted to take part. The important information they provide will help us plan for what additional health services and support is needed in their areas over the coming weeks."
The survey would take less than 10 minutes to complete, and would involved 500 randomly chosen people.
Nationally funded arts organisations are joining the bid to raise money for victims of the February 22 Christchurch earthquake.
The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO), the Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) and Te Matatini are all organising free fund-raising events, Ministry for Culture and Heritage chief executive Lewis Holden said.
The NZSO will be collecting for the Red Cross earthquake appeal at its "Symphonic Odyssey" concert on March 12 in Auckland and then throughout its "Apotheosis" tour around New Zealand.
The RNZB will end its South Island leg of "Tutus on Tour" by dressing up in costume and meeting people out in the Christchurch community.
It will also give a free performance of Tutus on Tour in Christchurch as soon as possible.
And the best of the Te Matatini of Te Ra kapa haka finals in Gisborne will perform in Rotorua, with all ticket sale proceeds going to the appeal.
Christchurch court buildings remain closed following the city's devastating earthquake, forcing the Ministry of Justice to hold essential services in makeshift court rooms.
The arrest court and remand hearings are being run out of a temporary facility at Christchurch Men's Prison, while other urgent criminal and civil matters are operating out of Rangiora District Court.
The High Court at Christchurch is operating but with all matters filed in the Wellington High Court Registry.
"Like everyone, we face new challenges almost every day but are working very closely with local judiciary, lawyers, and our Corrections (Department) and police partners to come up with practical short-term solutions, and also to consider the long-term effects and how we will manage them," ministry deputy courts secretary Andrew Hampton said.
The ministry is also leasing a property in suburban Sockburn to help maintain the essential services, and to provide a longer-term base for the local response team, he said.
Police have named 13 more victims of the Christchurch earthquake.
Most Christchurch residents have had power restored to their properties, with only 8900 households still without electricity.
Ninety-eight percent of Christchurch had power, but that excluded those in the central business district, lines company Orion said today.
The total number of residents without power may start to fluctuate on a daily basis, and people should be prepared for further power cuts, Orion chief executive Roger Sutton said.
Power had been restored to 50 percent of the wider CBD but it would be a slow and difficult process restoring the rest of it.
Meanwhile, the 11kV cable out of the New Brighton substation which failed on Sunday night has been fixed.
Some of Christchurch's main tourist attractions are reopening.
However, there would be no quick fixes to the effect the quake would have on Christchurch's tourism industry, Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism chief executive Tim Hunter said.
"It's going to take time and money to re-establish Christchurch as a top tourism destination.''
Many tourism operators were having to rely on government grants to get them through the next few weeks, he said.
Some tourism attractions operating again include the Air Force Museum, Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, and the Tranz-Alpine train service.
The National Crisis Management Centre has removed its non-essential travel restrictions for Christchurch and the Christchurch International Airport is fully operational.
All Black great David Kirk is doing his bit for the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal by taking part in a fundraising event in Sydney on Thursday.
The fundraiser includes an auction, raffle and door prizes, with all proceeds going to the appeal.
It will be held at North Bondi RSL, starting 5.30pm.
The Palms Shopping Centre will be closed for up to six weeks to repair damage caused by the earthquake.
The shopping centre, in the northwest suburb of Shirley, will then reopen in staggered phases as repairs are effected.
There is no public access to any of the centre's facilities.
Management at Wellington's Circa Theatre reports that almost $6,000 was raised in ticket sales and donations at last night's Christchurch Benefit. Proceeds from a silent auction will further boost this amount, which will all go to the Red Cross Appeal.
It was a lot more enjoyable during playtime at Christchurch's Wharenui School today than a fortnight ago, when students and teachers were huddled on the grass as the earth shuddered beneath them.
Instead of the usual maths and reading lesson, everyone headed outside after lunch break. A gumboot-throwing competition marked the school's reopening.
"We thought it was important to get them outside so they can relax, have fun and mix together", said principal Craig McGregor.
Solid Energy expects to resume loading export coal ships at Lyttelton next week.
The port's coal handling facilities have been closed for repairs since the February 22 earthquake, forcing the delay of two export coal shipments.
The February 22 earthquake has left a mark on everyone in Christchurch - and for many, quite literally. Tattoo artists have been kept very busy!
Emails circulating to Kiwibank customers claiming the bank has lost account details because of the Christchurch earthquake are a scam, the bank says.
The hoax email asks customers to provide their internet banking access numbers and passwords through a link to a replica Kiwibank website.
It was sad that people would take advantage of the tragic situation in Christchurch for dishonest purposes and customers should ignore the email, the bank said today.
An initiative announced today will result in $5 from every pre-purchased Ticketek sale to this year's ITM400 Hamilton V8 Supercars Championship street race being donated to the Christchurch Relief Fund, from today's sales onwards.
On interest.co.nz, Amanda Morrall writes that Civil Defence officials are wondering where John Key gets his figures from. ("Prime Minister says 10,000 homes may need to be demolished")
A selection of bach owners who advertise on the online site Book a Bach have generously donated their properties for auction for a short stay to help the people of Canterbury.
The auctions are hosted on Trade Me. 100 per cent of the proceeds will go to the New Zealand Red Cross appeal.
Tait Electronics have been praised for doing a great job getting radios for visiting USAR teams in Christchurch.
AMP Capital Shopping Centres, the Australian company who own the badly-damaged Palms shopping centre in Christchurch, are donating $700,000 to the earthquake appeal.
They promise The Palms will be "better than ever" when it is rebuilt.
The first of the emergency shelter cabins is unveiled today.
Last week, PlaceMakers donated 20 cabins valued at $200,000 for use by some of the worst affected families in the city.
Mayor Bob Parker will check out how they look, at Christchurch Frame & Truss Plant, 1 Koru Place, Harewood.
David Huebner, the US ambassador to New Zealand, shares his exeriences since the fateful day the quake struck on his blog. He writes: "The entire US Mission in New Zealand performed superbly under great pressure. Everyone employed in the Consulate, at the Embassy, and on the ground in Christchurch had a role to play, and each person gave 110 per cent".
The Canterbury Fire Service has reaffirmed the need for a total fire ban after a large vegetation fire pulled many resources away from quake recovery.
In a media briefing this morning, spokesman Russell Wood said the scrub blaze near Taylor's Mistake pulled 6 units and 2 helicopters away from crucial duties overnight.
The Dunedin Fringe Festival begins next week. Organisers say some Canterbury acts/exhibitors have sadly had to pull out, but they're pleased that a few will still be making the trip down SH1 to perform.
They urge Dunedin residents to "get out and support those who are making a huge effort to bring their show to our Festival".
There's a 'Big Pub Quiz' at the Memorial Hall in Queenstown on Thursday night, to raise funds for quake victims. Find details here.
Education Minister Anne Tolley says more than 100 Christchurch schools have now set dates for re-opening, including 21 which are already open again for students.
88 early childhood education centres have now re-opened, with 135 expected to open their doors by the end of the week.
Here's a way to get yourself lots of homegrown Kiwi music, while at the same time making a donation to the earthquake relief fund. "Songs for Christchurch" is organised by MusicHype.
The death toll from the Christchurch earthquake remains at 166, but police still believe the final count will be about 200.
Police Superintendent Sam Hoyle told media this morning that 166 bodies had been taken to the temporary morgue at Burnham Military Camp. Of those, 44 have been officially identified.
Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) teams continue to sift through rubble in the Christchurch CBD.
Residents and businesses are set to be allowed restricted access into the earthquake-damaged Christchurch city centre from early next week.
Civil Defence national controller John Hamilton said many businesses needed to retrieve documents from the cordoned off CBD so they could carry on running elsewhere in the city.
His officials would be assess whether it was safe for them to be allowed temporary access to their former premises.
The navy has left Canterbury, Newstalk ZB reports, but it is assessing the situation.
The HMNZS Canterbury had been in Lyttelton Harbour since the quake two weeks ago. The ship left for Wellington yesterday, but New Zealand Defence Force Commander Colonel Roger McElwain says the vessel could return south, if needed.
The aftershocks continue thick and fast in Christchurch.
There have been four more quakes since 6am this morning.
The latest was a 3.7 magnitude shake just after 10am. It was centred 20km north-east of Leeston at a depth of 15km.
Repairs to a major cable have halved the number of people without power in the eastern suburbs of Christchurch.
Engineers from lines company Orion completed the repairs which reconnected 3500 of the 7000 people still without power in Brighton and Dallington at 3.30am, Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker told a media conference this morning.
Water is also slowly being restored to the city, with 89 per cent of houses with "some water supply", he said.
Martin Johnson's England side are scheduled to stay at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Christchurch for the duration of their Rugby World Cup stay in New Zealand, but the property is at the heart of the city's Central Business District devastated by the quake.
It's understood structural engineers began assessing the scale of the hotel's damage yesterday.
Hospital staff working to help the injured and sick in the wake of the Christchurch earthquake have been inundated with gifts and donations.
Home baking, messages of support and other goods have flooded into the Christchurch Hospital emergency department since the quake.
One Auckland family paid to provide catered meals for a week.
Emergency department nurse Nikki Collis says the public support has helped her keep going.
A pair of "Kiwis in Sweden" suggest all expats spare a couple of minutes to create a short video and share it with the people of Christchurch. The common thread is the message 'Kia Kaha Christchurch'. Their own effort is here.
An American who was in Christchurch to give an address at a US-NZ Sustainability Forum tells his tale of February 22 to his local newspaper back in New Hampshire in the US.
A Christchurch business mentor says employers will have to be on the lookout for a phenomenon she calls "quake brain". It will be the reason many severely affected people struggle to get anything done after an earthquake - it's a numbness, a lack of ability to focus on tasks.
The number of beneficiaries decreased by nearly 10,000 during February, but the Government says the impact from the Christchurch earthquake is yet to hit.
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said today the number of people receiving benefits stood at 344,060, down from 354,058 in January.
KiwiRail freight services in Christchurch resumed normal service today following last month's quake.
Chief executive Jim Quinn said all KiwiRail services were running to ensure supplies reached the city.
"It's vital for the local economy that we are running to normal capacity as quickly as possible. Businesses need to get trading again to both survive and keep their employees working," he said.
Nomads backpackers are having a sale at The Camel Bar in Auckland's Fort St this Thursday, to raise funds for the Red Cross earthquake appeal.
Housing New Zealand (HNZ) has inspected all of its homes in the areas of Christchurch most affected by the Christchurch earthquake, says Housing Minister Phil Heatley.
HNZ has completed checks on more than 4500 homes including 2,600 in the eastern suburbs, and other areas badly affected by the earthquake.
Of these 2600 state homes, nearly 500 homes showed some significant structural damage, 100 homes were deemed uninhabitable with around 20 seemingly damaged beyond repair.
A business help website is to be launched in Hamilton to assist Christchurch businesses who may need urgent short term help.
The website will be a joint initiative between Hamilton City Council, Opportunity Hamilton and the Waikato Chamber of Commerce.
The website will be up and running in a few days.
Rock guitarist Carlos Santana has cancelled his Christchurch show because of last month's violent earthquake but will instead make a donation to the relief fund.
Santana was to play the CBS Canterbury Arena on March 22.
Christchurch customers will be refunded.
Santana's performance at Auckland's Vector Arena on March 20 will go ahead as planned.
The BBC has this amazing picture of the Christchurch quake mapped from space, using data from the Japanese Alos spacecraft.
In a few weeks specialists should be able to indicate which parts of Christchurch should not be rebuilt on, Prime Minister John Key says.
Parts of Christchurch will have to be abandoned and up to 10,000 homes could be demolished as a result of last month's earthquake, Mr Key said yesterday.
Christchurch-born and US-based actress, director and producer Anna Wilding has launched her own international appeal for the victims of the Christchurch City earthquake.
The charity intends to start identifying children who have lost their parents to apply funding and hopefully longer term assistance.
Find out more about the Wilding Foundation's work here.
(Anna is, according to her biography, the grand-niece of eight times Wimbledon tennis champ NZer Anthony Wilding).
New Zealanders and the international community will mourn the loss of life in Canterbury's earthquake next Friday but it will also be a chance to reflect on the future, Prime Minister John Key says.
The service would be held at North Hagley Park in Christchurch on March 18 and thousands were expected to attend.
Efforts to rebuild the badly hit Christchurch Cathedral have been given a $4 million boost thanks to an English entrepreneur.
A British branch of the Christchurch quake appeal has been set up by business leaders with New Zealand connections and CPP Group founder Hamish Ogston has pledged $4 million to the cathedral's rebuilding, The Press reported.
More schools in the Christchurch area are opening for the first time since the February 22 earthquake today.
Breens Intermediate, Casebrook Intermediate, Cashmere Primary School, Duvauchelle School, Gilberthorpe School, Governors Bay School, Kendal School, Kirkwood Intermediate, Le Bons Bay School, Little River School, Ouruhia Model School, Papanui School, Waitaha Learning Centre and Yaldhurst School are all listed as open today on the Ministry of Education website.
The University of Canterbury will resort to teaching students from an interim tented campus.
Though the campus was not badly damaged in the quake, extensive building checks are being undertaken. The university has been closed for the past two weeks and is expected to begin a progressive re-start of classes on Monday.
Four large marquees will be set up on campus to be used as teaching and working spaces for staff and students. Marquees will be set up on the School of Law car park and the Arts car park.
Go the university's website for more details.
Emergency Management Southland (EMS) says it's now taking a monitoring and support role in Christchurch after the earthquake.
Southland Regional Controller Warren Tuckey says the local welfare team was on standby, but has now been stood down.
Mr Tuckey says EMS will continue to support Christchurch by providing any necessary personnel.
The number of Christchurch residents displaced by the earthquake and living in Southland has risen to 648.
Singer Elizabeth Marvelly has got together more than 100 artists and entertainers to raise money for Christchurch at a 'To Christchurch With Love' concert.
Dame Malvina Major and Britain's Got Talent star Paul Potts top the bill.
The Lady Killers, Ray Woolf and Robyn Malcolm and a number of Kiwi artists have also agreed to take to the stage at North Shore's Bruce Mason Centre on April 2.
Tickets go on sale tomorrow through Ticketmaster.
GNS Science reports there have been four aftershocks in the Christchurch area since midnight.
The latest measured 3.1 on the Richter scale and struck at a depth of 8km, 10km south of Christchurch.
- NZHERALD STAFF, NZPA, NEWSTALK ZB, AGENCIES
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