The Taylor family work to clear silt from Rue De La Mere in Parklands. Photo / Sarah Ivey
That concludes our latest updates for this evening. We'll be back tomorrow morning with comprehensive coverage from Canterbury.
Prime Minister John Key will travel to Christchurch tomorrow with his wife Bronagh to observe the nationwide two minutes' silence for the victims of the Christchurch earthquake and their families.
That will be at 12.51pm, the time the earthquake struck the city.
"This is a time when the country will want to come together and pay our respects to those families who have lost loved ones and are suffering as a result of the earthquake," Mr Key said today.
"It will be particularly important for me to be with my family as well."
Mr Key was born in Auckland and raised in Christchurch, while his wife was born and grew up in the city.
They will observe two minutes' silence on the forecourt of Christchurch Art Gallery.
Mr Key has a sister living in Christchurch and said today her home would likely be demolished because of earthquake damage.
In Wellington, people will gather on Parliament's forecourt, where Deputy Prime Minister Bill English will speak.
Some readers have been asking how to apply for the Government's earthquake support subsidies, announced today.
The subsidy is paid to employers to pass on to employees.
To apply online go to: www.workandincome.govt.nz
To apply by phone call: 0800 779997
There are seven Work and Income offices currently open in Christchurch:
Ashburton Community Link, cnr Cass and Moore Streets
Hornby Service Centre, 25 Shands Road
Rangiora Service Centre, cnr Good and Blake Streets
Riccarton Service Centre, 76 Riccarton Road
Kaiapoi Community Link, 77 Hilton Street
Shirley Service Centre, 203-205 Hills Road
Linwood Community Link, 154 Aldwins Road
Wellington codes are uniting for a charity basketball match in Porirua on Thursday. Players from cricket team the Firebirds, Super 15 rugby team the Hurricanes, football team the Phoenix and basketball's Saints will face off, with support from netball team the Pulse.
The game starts at 7.30pm at Te Rauparaha Stadium in Porirua on Thursday, March 3. Tickets are $20 with all proceeds to the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal. Purchase tickets from ticketdirect.co.nz or phone 0800 4 TICKET.
Strong winds that were set to hit Christchurch this afternoon did not eventuate, but residents are warned that they should secure loose roofs and beware of the threat of falling masonry.
Mayor Bob Parker this morning said there was "great concern" about strong winds forecast to come over the Southern Alps, potentially stirring up the thousands of tonnes of silt and dust generated by last Tuesday's 6.3-magnitude earthquake.
"The forecasters are now telling us that those strong winds appear to be less likely, and we hope that is the case. What we don't want are very strong winds," he said at tonight's Civil Defence briefing.
"We can relax a little bit around the wind storm, but we won't relax too much because the weather forecasters aren't always right. Let's hope this time they've got it absolutely right on."
Mr Parker said that in the city's eastern suburbs the fine dust came up as vehicles were driven down the streets.
Fire Service spokesman Russell Wood said rescue teams were aware of the high wind potential and what impact that might have on search and rescue operations tomorrow.
"It would seem that it's not going to be as bad as perhaps anticipated, but we'll keep appraising that as the time comes, and the USAR (urban search and rescue) teams will make a judgement as to whether the wind is so severe that it may have to curtail temporarily operations, so we'll just keep a watching brief on that," he said.
An inquiry will be held into the Christchurch earthquake which will consider safety issues around the collapsed building which costs dozens of lives, Prime Minister John Key says.
"There has to be an inquiry, we have to provide answers about why so many lost their lives," he said today.
"And we have to learn lessons from the earthquake - some things are just beyond our control but we owe it to people to give them answers."
Mr Key confirmed the inquiry would look at the safety certificates issued after the first earthquake for buildings that collapsed in the second.
He said he did not yet know what form the inquiry would take and was waiting for advice on that.
Police are warning of reports of people impersonating EQC officials, telephoning residents and advising them they are eligible for an emergency grant as long as they deposit $200 into a bank account. Police advise hanging up on the scammers.
More than 230 Christchurch residents have been dealt a further blow today with the announcement they have lost their jobs after the closure of two of the city's supermarkets.
Foodstuffs South Island announced that its New World stores in Redcliffs and St Martins would not be reopening after they were extensively damaged in Christchurch's devastating earthquake on Tuesday.
This left 236 full and part-time workers out of work.
Foodstuffs South Island chief executive Steve Anderson said it was an "incredibly distressing" time for the stores' owners their staff as well as the local communities they serve.
Each staff member would receive a redundancy payment equivalent to two months of their earnings and full-time staff would also be given a $500 shopping voucher and part-time employees a $250 voucher.
"We hope this will go some way to help staff provide for their families during these challenging times," Mr Anderson said.
Foodstuffs would also be offering each employee access to a specialist employment advisor.
SAFE has launched Animal Aid, an emergency resource on Facebook set up to coordinate volunteers and professional services with animal shelters and those within the community missing animals in the wake of the devastating Christchurch earthquake.
The Curry Box in Auckland's CBD will serve a $10 main menu tomorrow (Tuesday March 1) from 5-9pm. 50 per cent of proceeds will go to the Red Cross. Orders can be made online www.currybox.co.nz.
More than 200 Land Search and Rescue (LandSAR) volunteers from around New Zealand have officially joined the Christchurch earthquake relief operation.
The airforce will fly 60 volunteers from Whenuapai in Auckland and Manawatu's Ohakea airbase to Christchurch, where North Island LandSAR personnel will relieve their South Island colleagues.
LandSAR chief executive Hadyn Smith said its main role was to go door-to-door to check on the health, wellbeing and safety of Christchurch residents.
A second contingent of volunteers was expected to be sent later this week.
Doctors have urged the Government not to drag out the search and rescue operation in Christchurch to cater to "public emotion" in a new report highlighted by the Science Media Centre.
The joint report by Andrew Macintyre, MD, Joseph Barbera, MD and Bruno Petinaux, MD of George Washington University finds search and rescue operations often run too long in the wake of earthquakes.
Governments need to weigh the potential of finding survivors against the risks to rescue workers and the need to divert efforts to other essential rebuilding tasks, it says.
"In the experience of the authors, the search and rescue mode is unnecessarily extended in many situations by political leaders responding to public emotion, even with little realistic hope for additional survivors. ... It is important to recognise that decision making by government leaders may be influenced by politics, public confidence, and the media reporting of late "live finds".
The report also casts doubt on stories of survivors found long after disasters, saying they are often exaggerated.
One prominent story of a survivor found 27 days after the devastating Haiti earthquake in January 2010 was questionable, the report says.
Some victims have later admitted to re-entering buildings, becoming trapped several days after the initial quake.
"The veracity of any publicised late rescues should be rapidly investigated and if indicated, publicly corrected because this can have adverse effects on an otherwise responsible decision to end the search phase of an emergency response."
A benefit concert is to be held tomorrow in Scotland at St Mary's Cathedral, Glasgow. Built by British architect George Gilbert Scott in the 19th century, St Mary's is considered the "twin" of the quake-damaged Christchurch Cathedral which was also designed by Scott. Further details and background on the event are here.
An emergency medical information provider says it is vital that people keep their MedicAlert information up to date following Christchurch's major earthquake.
People who wear the MedicAlert identity bracelet should go online to securely update their emergency contact and personal information.
"We are asking people in Christchurch, in particular, to update their emergency health record, but this tragedy is also a reminder to people around the country to do the same," said MedicAlert New Zealand spokesman Murray Lord.
"MedicAlert members should also ask their GPs to go through the necessary steps to update their emergency clinical information securely online if they have started taking any new medication or developed any new medical warnings or health conditions."
The website is www.medicalert.co.nz
A MedicAlert bracelet wearer's emergency medical information record is accessible in emergencies both nationwide and internationally 24 hours a day, through the Central Communications Emergency Ambulance Call Centre.
St John has set up a new website for people wanting to donate following Christchurch's devastating earthquake on Tuesday.
The website www.donatechristchurch.co.nz offers people a fast and practical way to donate to St John which is providing a vital service to quake hit Christchurch, St John spokesman Gerry Fitzgerald said.
"Our ambulance officers and community volunteers are providing care to people in need under very difficult circumstances and operating from temporary locations in the city," he said.
"Donations will boost our ability to restore St John ambulance stations and maintain our much-needed services."
Resources at Women's Refuge centres in Christchurch are being stretched to the hilt as stress from last week's earthquake sets in.
Women's Affairs Minister Hekia Parata visited one centre in the city today and said staff were experiencing a heavy demand.
"People are pretty tired, it's been a non-stop situation, they are experiencing an increase in demand."
Ms Parata said four of the five centres in Christchurch had suffered damage in the quake, and resources were stretched thin.
"They're expecting some of those to come back on line, but a couple, they think, have been assessed as being too difficult."
Ms Parata said she would be looking at possible solutions in coming days.
"In the case of Women's Refuge, they deal with stressed people all the time and the earthquake has exacerbated that," she said.
"We've been talking and hearing about that, and I'll be taking those issues back to Wellington."
Ms Parata also spent time today speaking with officials from ethnic communities within Christchurch.
"Those communities have stepped up because they want to make sure that their families are able to get support in their language and in ways that are culturally responsive to their situations.
"They are all volunteer organisations, their resources are being stretched as well."
Interwaste in Wellington is sending a truck to Christchurch on Wednesday and will deliver free-of-charge donations of: wheelbarrows (heavy duty) shovels, disposable nappies, wipes, sanitary products, long-life milk, etc. Please phone Cait on (04) 589 1914 to have items picked up.
All the funds raised by next month's Variety Bash will now be used help children affected by the earthquake in Christchurch.
The Bash kicks off on Saturday, March 5, and will be travelling from the Bay of Plenty to the Bay of Islands, raising money in towns it passes along the way. Variety is also running a Bash charity auction on TradeMe from 3-16 March with all proceeds going to help children in Christchurch.
Variety has launched the 'Give an Hour' appeal for donations to help children affected by the earthquake. Donations to the 'Give an Hour' appeal can be made online at www.varietynz.org.nz/christchurchearthquake or by contacting Variety on 0800 454 371 or +64 9 520 4111. 100 per cent of donations will go directly to children in Christchurch.
Telecom and Vodafone's cellphone networks are up and running and both companies are working to help those affected by Christchurch's devastating quake.
The Telecom network is up and stable, with most mobile sites working and all exchanges operational with a combination of mains and generated power following the quake, the company says.
The Vodafone network was functioning well but 18 of their cell sites were still reliant on generators for power and a small number of sites were still offline, which meant some areas had reduced coverage, a company spokesperson said.
Telecom had established hubs at Christchurch welfare centres to provide free calling, free internet, and mobile charging facilities.
It was also distributing the 3000 analogue phones collected for people without power at home from the welfare centres.
Telecom payphones remained free across Christchurch, with more than 40,000 calls made since the quake.
Vodafone had put together an emergency mobile phone pack for those affected by the quake.
The pack was only available for people in Christchurch and included a mobile phone, prepay sim card and a car charger.
Christchurch residents were still advised to change their voice mail messages to advise friends and family of their situation.
A total fire ban is currently in place across Christchurch, including Banks Peninsula. No fire permits will be issued.
The Fire Service is advising residents to check that damaged wiring is not exposed to flammable materials (for example linen fallen on to wiring in linen cupboards). If you are still without power, please ensure all electrical appliances are turned off to avoid fires when electricity is restored.
Chimneys and flues may have sustained damage, so it is advised people do not light fires in these as they may be exposed to the roof cavity. Contact a builder or plumber to have yours checked.
The fire service is also advising people to contact emergency services regarding the emissions of toxic substances.
Ensure every smoke alarm is in working order and practise your escape plans in the event of a fire.
Christchurch residents will be able leave messages in a book of condolences and reflect on Tuesday's devastating earthquake at the city's Botanic Gardens from tomorrow.
The special place of condolence at the Archery Lawn in the Botanic Gardens would be open from 8am to 4pm daily for members of the public to visit and reflect on the weeks events, Christchurch City Council said.
About 200 houses have now been evacuated in eastern Christchurch suburbs threatened by rock falls, police say.
The properties in Clifton and Redcliffs were emptied after emergency services discovered cracks opening up in the cliffs above them.
Police and army officers are now going door-to-door in more Clifton streets advising residents they may have to move out if engineers find their houses are also in danger.
A police statement says the evacuations are preliminary, with engineers' reports showing the cliff cracks have not moved.
There will be a community meeting at 5pm at old Sumner School on Wiggens St to give residents more information.
Delish Cupcakes on Auckland's North Shore is holding a fundraising bake sale for Canterbury Earthquake Relief this Saturday.
Drop your baked goods into Delish Cupcakes, Shop 4, 14-16 Raines Ave, Forrest Hill, the morning of the sale between 7am and 10am or if baking's not your thing, come along and purchase what you can between 10am and 3pm.
All proceeds will go to Canterbury Earthquake relief and all baked goods not sold will be donated to North Shore Hospice.
There will also be a raffle and sausage sizzle.
For more information see the Facebook event.
The Westfield Riccarton shopping mall has completed safety checks and retailers are now able to begin reopening their stores.
The building has been "green-stickered" and retailers on the ground level can reopen. Level one and Rotherham St shops are anticipated to reopen later in the week.
Riccarton Pak 'n Save reopened on Friday and Kmart opened on Saturday.
A Maori earthquake response command centre has been established at Wigram, Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples says.
Dr Sharples says Te Puni Kokiri and Ngai Tahu's Christchurch offices were damaged in the quake and they had moved into Ngai Tahu's facilities at Wigram along with He Oranga Pounamu and the Maori Wardens.
"Together we have spent the past few days getting our communications infrastructure established, so we can co-ordinate the help that is flooding in from Maori around the country," Dr Sharples says.
He says a toll-free help line - 0800 KAI TAHU - has been set up for accommodation at the local marae.
Iwi radio station Tahu FM is also broadcasting with help from Te Upoko o te Ika radio Station in Wellington.
There have been 13 aftershocks in the Christchurch area so far today, GNS Science reports, with two measuring over magnitude 4 on the Richter scale.
The last aftershock measured 3.1 occurred at 2.12pm 10km south-east of Christchurch at a depth of 8km.
Aftershocks are diminishing in overall frequency since last Tuesday's 6.3 magnitude earthquake, the Civil Defence says.
It says scientists are paying special attention to the patterns of the aftershocks and assessing data from surveying networks, but accurate scientific prediction of earthquakes and aftershocks is not possible.
Many aftershocks have been in the vicinity of Lyttelton during the past 24 hours and the aftershock zone is expanding as expected, it says. This means seismic activity will be felt outside the Port Hills and Lyttelton areas.
European countries have been asked to help with sanitation, temporary housing and demolition after last week's devastating Christchurch earthquake.
The Civil Protection Mechanism of the European Union was activated today, after a request from New Zealand.
The mechanism allows countries to work together in a disaster, pooling resources.
1-day.co.nz is holding a 24-hour online garage sale from midday on Wednesday March 2, to raise money for the Canterbury Earthquake appeal.
It says there will be up to 80 per cent off products from brands including; Sony, Mooks, Billabong, Crayola, Victorinox, Speedo, Revitanail & Leatherman.
Eyewear company Luxottica is offering to replace prescription glasses or contact lenses damaged in the earthquake free of charge.
It says people should visit the OPSM or Budget Eyewear stores in the Christchurch suburb of Hornby or call 0800 000 162 for more information.
Police Commissioner Howard Broad says police numbers in Christchurch have been boosted by 300 New Zealand staff, plus 323 officers from Australia.
He says police have in excess of 80 staff working solely on producing a forensic examination of those listed as missing.
MetService has issued a severe weather warning forecasting winds of up to 90km/h in the city from Tuesday until Wednesday afternoon.
MetService weather ambassador Bob McDavitt says the winds will likely blow the silt and dirt produced by last week's earthquake across the city.
"There will also be some periods of light rain, but probably not enough to settle the wind-blown dust," he says.
Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker this morning warned the dust clouds could affect some resident's respiratory systems.
A white casket containing the body of five-month-old quake victim Baxtor Gowland has been carried to a hearse surrounded by mourners.
Friends and family are farewelling the youngest victim of the Christchurch earthquake - five-month-old Baxtor Gowland - at a service in Upper Riccarton this afternoon.
At the funeral service this afternoon Baxtor's aunt thanked the emergency services and those at the hospital.
Baxtor's family is asking for donations to Mothers and Babies Service, at Princess Margaret Hospital, in lieu of flowers.
Variety - The Children's Charity says all the money raised from its Variety Bash tour will be used to help children affected by the Christchurch earthquake.
The Bash starts on Saturday March 5 and will be travelling from the Bay of Plenty to the Bay of Islands.
Variety will also be running a charity auction on TradeMe from 3-15 March and says people can 'give an hour' of their salary by donating online at www.varietynz.org.nz/christchurchearthquake
BP says fuel supplies in Canterbury are returning to normal after last week's earthquake.
It says 18 of its 20 stations in Christchurch are open.
"We are doing what we can to get the final two (BP Connect QEII, BP 2go Redcliffs) open as well."
Work and Income has seven mobile vans going directly to people in the hardest hit suburbs of Christchurch says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.
"Social workers will join Work and Income staff in the vans to provide advice and support as well as financial assistance," says Ms Bennett.
Work and Income sites at Ashburton, Hornby, Rangiora, Kaiapoi and Riccarton have been open since Wednesday. With a further two sites opening today in Shirley (203-205 Hills Road) and Linwood (154 Aldwins Road).
By 10am this morning over 17,000 Civil Defence payments had been made, with more than $2.7 million paid out.
The BNZ says nine of its branches in Christchurch are operating and will be open until 4.30pm today.
They are in Riccarton, Upper Riccarton, Rolleston, Rangiora, Papanui, Leeston, Kaiapoi, Hornby and Akaroa.
HMNZS Canterbury has restocked with aid in Wellington and is due to arrive back at the Port of Lyttelton about 6pm today, the Defence Force says.
The ship's cargo includes 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 Defence Force says the RNZAF has moved more than 600 tonnes of aid into Christchurch since last Tuesday's earthquake.
It says 150 aircrew and support personnel are working on the air force effort and 370 passengers have been moved from Christchurch in last 24 hours.
Christchurch City Council says all of its service centres are closed and residents are not required to pay their rates as usual today. Rates can be paid at a future date to be confirmed and no penalties will apply. The council says only red and green rubbish bins are being collected - not yellow bins.
Countdown says 15 of its stores in the Christchurch area are open and eight out of the ten SuperValue & Fresh Choice stores are open.
The full list of stores is on the Countdown website.
Civil says people planning on using a generator must consult an electrician. It says plugging a generator into a home can reconnect neighbouring properties without residents of either property knowing.
People with bookings up to March 31 for the Millennium Hotel Christchurch, Copthorne Hotel Christchurch Central and Copthorne Hotel Christchurch City are advised to make alternative arrangements. Although the three buildings have been cleared to be re-entered, they all are all within the "four avenues" cordon area and cannot be accessed until the end of next month at the earliest.
Up to 15,000 students could be affected by severe quake-damage in Christchurch schools, Education Minister Anne Tolley says.
Ms Tolley says the priority in the early stages will be assessing buildings to find out the extent of the damage.
18 state schools and 11 integrated schools are already known to have suffered extreme damage.
The ASB Premiership between Auckland City and Canterbury United has been postponed because of the earthquake.
"There are simply more important things to consider than sport at times like this," said NZF Operations Manager Glyn Taylor.
A decision as to if, and when, the match will be played would be made at a later date.
ANZ bank has opened more of its branches today.
It says the Ashburton ANZ and National Bank branches and ANZ Geraldine branch are now open and offering full banking services.
Full services: ANZ Ashburton, National Bank Ashburton, ANZ Geraldine,
Limited services: ANZ Addington, National Bank Hornby, ANZ Hornby, ANZ Rangiora, National Bank Upper RIccarton. ANZ Kaiapoi
Chief Coroner Judge Neil MacLean reassures the families of victims that their bodies are being treated with respect and will be released as soon as possible.
"There is no set timeframe so we are dealing with each individual one by one until there is absolute certainty, we cannot afford to make one mistake," he says.
"Families are being kept informed and supported by police liaison officers and we have enough resources to get this dreadful task done," Judge MacLean says.
16,200 tonnes of sand and silt was moved yesterday out of an estimated total of 180,000 tonnes. It is anticipated this will be completed by Friday 4 March, the Civil Defence says.
Expert teams are continuing to work out of Christchurch Hospital and the Burnham Military Camp to identify those lost in the earthquake.
Chief Coroner Judge Neil MacLean told Newstalk ZB in almost all cases, visual identification is not possible.
Methods such as finger printing, DNA and dental records are being employed.
Judge MacLean says they are dealing with each individual one by one and there is no set time frame for completing the dreadful task.
New Zealand soldiers stationed in Afghanistan have sent messages of support for Christchurch. Watch video.
A website called Garage Sale For Christchurch has been created which list items on Trade Me that have proceeds going towards the earthquake.
Bob Parker told media any residents who haven't received any contact with officials should not think they have been forgotten.
"The opposite is true."
Fires in the demolished buildings could make identifying bodies more difficult.
"We do need to prepare ourselves for the fact that human remains are located but not complete bodies," Russell Wood said.
Bob Parker said the Grand Chancellor still remains a risk but has stopped moving.
Mr Parker also said there would inevitably be an enquiry as a result of last week's devastation.
"Essential to this city going forward is safety and the perception of safety," he said.
While the PGC building was built in the 1960s, earthquake building codes only came about in the following decades he said.
The CTV building was built in 1985 and had been upgraded in 1992.
The New Zealand Red Cross has already received around $5.2 million in donations for its earthquake appeal. All of the money donated will go to the victims with the organisation absorbing administration costs.
A 4.3 magnitude aftershock struck 10km east of Lyttelton at 10.35am, GNS Science reports. It was at a depth of 7km. That was followed by another aftershock eight minutes later, that measured 3.8.
Bob Parker said 55,000 homes remain without water - around 35 percent.
"Please boil any water you get out of pipes in the city."
Around 85 percent of the city have had their power reconnected.
Bob Parker told media the Student Volunteer Army are a "very big part of the response at community level".
"It's not just students - anyone can be a a part of that."
He asked people interested in volunteering to visit www.sva.org.nz or call 03 974 7414.
A health warning has been issued for Christchurch as bad weather is expected to stir up thousands of tonnes of silt and dust dislodged by last Tuesday's earthquake.
Mayor Bob Parker says high strength winds expected to hit the city today could fill the air with the 180,000 tonnes of silt.
That compares to 30,000 tonnes of silt dislodged in last September's earthquake.
The material could affect people's respiratory systems, he says.
The Fire Service's Russell Wood says a large temporary structure has been installed at the Cathedral to stabilise a wall.
The Fire service yesterday attended a house fire caused by the disposal of a cigarette, he said.
Superintendent Dave Cliff said the confirmed dead now number 148 and is expected to rise.
He released the names of two more victims - Natasha Hadfield, 38, of Kaiapoi and Owen Maurice Wright, 40, of Lyttelton.
Two more people were arrested overnight, one for breaching the cordon, and another for impersonating a USAR official and for possession off offensive weapons - knives, a police baton and an axe.
Fatigue will be setting in for rescue workers after last Tuesday's earthquake but their focus will not diminish, Civil Defence Director John Hamilton told a media conference in Christchurch this morning.
Mr Hamilton said special bus services were planned so that residents could bypass the central city so that they could access supermarkets and other services.
He said water was being restored to Christchurch but meantime residents should continue to boil both tap water and water from tankers and other supplies.
Pioneer stadium is now available for showers for public.
Severe earthquake damage is slowing efforts to restore power to 30,000 people in Christchurch's eastern suburbs and CBD.
Power has now been restored to 84 per cent of the city, but progress has slowed considerably since last week.
A statement from lines company Orion attributes the change to badly damaged equipment in eastern areas.
It says the company is still focussed on reconnecting power to 95 per cent of the city in the next seven days.
Restoring power to Redcliffs, Sumner and Mt Pleasant are its priorities for today.
Two New Zealanders have organised a Christchurch Earthquake Vigil Service at Westminster Cathedral, on 2 March, 7pm, for all kiwis based in London to unite and pay respect to the people of Christchurch.
High Commissioner Derek Leask will read a message from John Key. There will be a Waiata from Ngati Ranana, London Maori Club and personal accounts and reflections will be read by Former Christchurch City Councillor, Paddy Austin.
A collection will be made and badges sold with proceeds going to the British Red Cross, New Zealand Earthquake Appeal.
Rescuers have begun checking the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Christchurch, Newstalk ZB reports.
Civil Defence head John Hamilton says the buckling building was shored up yesterday so they now feel it is safe enough to send in rescue teams.
Police confirm they are evacuating up to 60 properties in the Redcliffs area of Sumner due to concerns about the stability of a cliff face.
They say they are unable to say when residents will be able to return to their properties.
The Student Army in Christchurch says it needs to borrow serviceable vehicles as well as trailers, steel rakes, wheelbarrows and small bobcats to help remove debris from the earthquake.
Volunteers also need computer equipment and printers for job sheets.
The Student Army's website www.sva.org.nz has more information.
All Whites defender Winston Reid is ready to put some of his mementoes from the World Cup up for auction to raise funds for quake-hit Christchurch.
A 3.3 magnitude aftershock struck 10km north-east of Lyttelton at 9.20am, GNS Science reports.
It was at a depth of 5km.
Tattoo artists across New Zealand are rallying together for tattoo parlours closed in Christchurch as a result of the earthquake. On certain days all proceeds from participating parlours will go to the Tattoo Artist EQ Fund.
Tattoo artist Matti McEachen lost his life in Tuesday's quake. Money from the fund will also go to his family.
For more information see: www.inkedforchristchurch.doodlekit.com/home
Residents of Clifton Hill in Sumner are being evacuated after a 4.1 magnitude aftershock just before 8am, Newstalk ZB reports.
Residents say the tremor has dislodged more rocks on the hill raising concerns about its stability.
The Eden Park Trust Board is offering to provide a home game for the Crusaders this season. Due to earthquake damage Super 15 is unlikely to be played at AMI Stadium this year.
Principal of Darfield High James Morris says the school has been given the all clear and will open today, Newstalk ZB reports.
Some staff will be working but he says others who have badly affected will be away for as long as they need to be.
Prime Minister John Key tells Radio New Zealand he is in favour of increasing EQC levies, which may be trebled to pay for rebuilding Christchurch and to ensure there are funds for any future disasters.
Mr Key says the Government's international Christchurch Earthquake Appeal is modelled off of one established for the Queensland floods across the Tasman.
"We think this is an earthquake of worldwide proportions," he said. "We think people around the world will open their wallets and their hearts."
Prime Minister John Key Tells TVNZ's Breakfast programme Christchurch will be rebuilt to withstand future earthquakes.
Mr Key says some of the more modern buildings in the CBD survived last Tuesday's earthquake relatively unscathed and gave a "flavour" of what the rebuilt city would look like.
Police Superintendent Russell Gibson tells Radio New Zealand two people were last night arrested for breaching the cordon in Christchurch's CBD.
He says police will oppose bail when the pair appear in court.
The death toll from Christchurch's magnitude 6.3 earthquake still stands at 147, police tell Radio New Zealand. They say more than 200 still remain missing, and it is unclear how many of them are among the deceased.
A 4.1 magnitude earthquake struck at 7.55am, within 5km of Lyttelton at a depth of 5km, GNS Science reports. The aftershock was the third near Christchurch this morning.
The main road in to Sumner from Cave Terrace to Nayland Street is now closed due to rock-face assessment, Civil Defence says.
To access Sumner, Civil Defence advises the use of Evans Pass via Mount Pleasant Road and Summit Road.
Christchurch City Council is offering residents out of work and out of pocket temporary employment.
Because of the number of claims coming in about the damage caused by last week's earthquake, it has had to hire around 120 extra staff.
People can apply for the roles - which include data entry, administration and customer service - on the Adecco website.
A magnitude 3.3 aftershock shook Christchurch at 7.37am, GNS Science reports.
The earthquake was centred 10km south-west of Christchurch at a depth of 3km.
The Dominion Post reports that the family of Shane Tomlin - who disappeared after a photo of his rescue from a bakery was published - have been told to prepare for a funeral.
The 42-year-old was last seen at Christchurch hospital on the evening the 6.3 magnitude quake, but there has been no sign of him since.
Police have not formally identified Mr Tomlin, but have retrieved his toothbrush, hat, hairbrush and fingerprint samples in an effort to find his body.
Mr Tomlin's father, Bernie, told the Dominion Post Shane's family planned to hold his funeral in Kaikoura next week.
The Taranaki Daily News reports two teenagers allegedly took advantage of the Christchurch earthquake to escape from a Child, Youth and Family facility in the city.
It says they allegedly stole the car they were cleaning as part of their community service and drove to Picton before busing to New Plymouth, where they were arrested.
Mayor Bob Parker says the central city could be closed for "months" and a "temporary CBD" is being touted as an alternative for businesses.
"We need to enable businesses to retain their capability to function," Mr Parker told Newstalk ZB.
Mr Parker says there are number of possible locations for a future temporary CBD, but for now the focus is on searching for survivors and recovering victims.
He says it is important some semblance of normality is returned for Cantabrians such as returning to work and school.
Universities and polytechnics in Christchurch will not open until at least March 14.
Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce says Canterbury and Lincoln universities are relatively unscathed, but the biggest problem is the city being able to cope with the influx of students.
Canterbury Polytechnic Institute of Technology isn't so lucky because it's in the central city, Mr Joyce says.
Other polytechnics have been offering support to allow students to complete courses.
The universities have assured the minister they will complete a full academic year this year and information is available on all the institutes' websites.
Peter Crooks, the head of the UK International Search and Rescue tells Radio New Zealand crew at the PGC building are still hopeful of finding survivors.
Mr Crooks says asbestos in the building is not an issue for whether there will be survivors and crew are able to deal with it with respiratory equipment.
Rescuers have found four bodies at the site in the past 24-hours, he says.
He says the disaster response is the best organised he has attended.
The Rangiora Express is now looking to increase its distribution of food via road transport and is looking for more donations of non perishable food, empty and full water bottles, baby needs, sanitary products, batteries, candles, lighters and matches, and boxes.
These items can be dropped off at the Rangiora Racecourse. See their Facebook page for more information.
A map of the location of facilities available across the city, including portoloos, water supplies, supermarkets and road closures can be seen here: http://eqviewer.co.nz/
Housing New Zealand has cancelled rent for its Christchurch tenants.
Housing Minister Phil Heatley says it's easier to just cancel rent outright in 32 suburbs, backdated to February 22, than work out who is affected.
The Ministry of Education says schools in Christchurch City must remain closed until further notice.
It says schools in Selwyn and Waimakariri Districts can open from today if boards of trustees decide students and staff will be safe to return.
Information on those schools opening will be posted on its website.
There has been one aftershock since midnight this morning, GNS Science reports.
The magnitude 3.1 quake strucke at 2.18am at a depth of 7km within 5km of Christchurch.
Police are expecting to name two more of the dead this morning, Radio New Zealand reports.
- NZPA, NEWSTALK ZB, NZHERALD STAFF, AGENCIES