It's almost business as usual in Christchurch with reports that damage in the city is minimal.

Christchurch Employers Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend said while some businesses were having their buildings checked by engineers, most were open and operating as normal.

"From a Christchurch perspective there's absolutely minimal damage," Townsend said.

"There's no significant infrastructural damage - power, water and waste water are all up and running which is incredibly good testament to the way the rebuild has occurred in our city," he said.


"We're a city with a seismic past and with a seismic future but we're rebuilding to accomodate that, and what happened this morning was testament to that."

Townsend said the limited damage was also due to a majority of Christchurch residents being in new homes and buildings which had been built to high earthquake resistant standards.

"This is much less of an issue for Christchurch," Townsend said. "The people we're feeling sorry for are the people further north, particularly around Kaikoura and Hamner who are still struggling, and it's impossible to say what the cost will be there," he said.

"From what we've seen though the infrastructural damage, particularly roading damage, is very, very significant and that is going to take a lot of time and money to get on top of."