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Tracking today's events as they happen on day six of the Christchurch earthquake disaster.

6.30pm

That concludes our live coverage for today. We'll be back tomorrow with more rolling updates; check back in the morning for the latest developments.

6.10pm

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People wanting to help with the earthquake cleanup should contact the Waimakariri District Council in Rangiora.

Waimakariri Civil Defence controller Bruce Thompson said details would be taken, including what skills people had and when they were available.

"We are going to need volunteers for weeks to come so even if people are not needed immediately, we will contact them when there is a need," Mr Thompson said.

5.50pm

There have been marked changes in the groundwater beneath the Canterbury Plains following Saturday's earthquake and the continuing aftershocks, says Environment Canterbury.

New springs have been observed, wells have shown marked increases in water level, spring-fed streams such as the Halswell River have risen markedly and increased turbidity (cloudiness) has been seen in some wells, says Dr Tim Davie, Acting Director Investigations and Monitoring.

"It is well known by scientists that earthquakes can and frequently do induce a response in groundwater that can be observed up to several hundred kilometres from the earthquake epicentre."

He said the changes were not cause for alarm and residents would be alerted to any possible risks as information came to light.

5.30pm

Most of Canterbury's tertiary institutions will start reopening from Monday, Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce says.

Mr Joyce met with managers of the institutions today and said there had been minimal permanent damage.

Tertiary providers in Canterbury will reopen as follows:

* Canterbury University to staff on Monday and students Wednesday, with classes resuming September 20;

* CPIT and Lincoln to staff and students on Monday;

* Te Wananga o Aotearoa's Manchester Street campus remained closed until further notice, classes will resume at the Moorhouse Avenue campus on Monday.

5.10pm

Tourism operators in Hanmer Springs have pooled together to offer their Cantabrian neighbours a bit of

The specials include a variety of discounted accommodation, activities, dining and services from Hanmer Springs businesses.

5.00pm

Police Commissioner Howard Broad has praised the region's response to the Canterbury earthquake.

Mr Broad visited the Christchurch CBD today and is due to visit Kaiapoi and surrounding rural areas later on.

"From the moment my phone started ringing early on Saturday morning my

perception of how Christchurch and Canterbury has coped has been one of an outstanding response," he said.

"I was immediately confident that the planning and preparation put in place over the years had kicked in seamlessly. It was a first class start to something so calamitous."

4.52pm

Local body elections will proceed in Canterbury with voting papers issued between September 17 and 22.

For inquiries about the elections ring the toll-free elections help line on 0508 666 001.

4.32pm

A small temporary respite care facility for older or disabled people has been established by the Canterbury District Health Board.

People can be referred to the facility, based at Princess Margaret Hospital, through their general practitioners, the DHB said.

The unit has 20 beds and patients can stay up to seven nights.

4.02pm

The historic chapel at Christchurch's Churchill Courts aged care complex will be totally demolished by day's end.

As the excavator waited, all the religious fittings - including robes, chalices and patens, altar rail, and various commemorative plaques - were hastily taken from the chapel.

Regular worship services will continue in a lounge room in a safe area of the hospital.

3.59pm

The Department of Corrections is transferring prisoners to facilities in other regions.

Women prisoners have been transferred to Auckland and a large number of men relocated to Otago.

With South Island prisons at peak capacity, the remaining male prisoners to North Island facilities.

3.52pm

The SCAPE 2010 Christchurch

will not go ahead this month.

Bob Blyth, chairman of the Art & Industry Biennial Trust, says with so much of the central city damaged and many of their industry partners involved in the recovery effort, the trustees have decided to postpone the event.

"The city needs our industry partners to keep helping Christchurch re-establish its infrastructure. That is undoubtedly where their expertise is needed and we applaud the way they are working to get Christchurch functioning again."

3.50pm

The cordon in central Christchurch will be lifted at 5am tomorrow morning.

But Mayor Bob Parker says this will be dependent on there being no more major aftershocks.

Some minor street closures will remain, particularly around buildings that are undergoing demolition and strengthening.

The Christchurch Bus Exchange will open again tomorrow and the aim is to get the public transport system back up and running.

3.40pm

SPCA Canterbury has set up a pet emergency fund to help people and animals in distress over the coming weeks.

to donate.

3.33pm

The government has waived the $10-a-tonne waste levy on Canterbury landfills for earthquake waste.

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownle says it is inappropriate for the fund to profit from the disaster.

3.30pm

Canterbury doctors' surgeries should check their vaccine supplies as they may have been affected by power cuts following Saturday's earthquake.

Pegasus Health has set up a vaccine helpline, (03) 3539894, and said practices should download data from their vaccine fridges,

New Zealand Doctor

newspaper reported.

3.15pm

A rural recovery organisation has been set up to deal with problems arising in the Canterbury farming sector.

Agriculture Minister David Carter said Alan Baird had been appointed chairman of the organisation.

"He has a wealth of experience in the Mid-Canterbury Rural Support Trust of dealing with these issues over the last few decades."

3.11pm

A Christchurch school for children with special needs has received another blow after being burgled.

Ferndale School in Merivale suffered a large amount of structural damage in Saturday's earthquake.

Board of Trustees Chairwoman Jackie Morris says on top of that, thieves entered the school overnight taking laptops and digital video and still cameras.

Police have fingerprinted the area and it's likely the school won';t be open until next Thursday.

2.51pm

Four Canterbury All Blacks, including captain Richie McCaw, have been enlisted for a campaign advertising where those traumatised by the earthquake can get help.

McCaw, Brad Thorn, Kieran Read and Corey Flynn have agreed to help out with the campaign, said the minister in charge of the earthquake recovery, Gerry Brownlee.

The quartet are all in Sydney preparing for the Tri-Nations test against Australia on Saturday. (NZPA)

2.50pm

The infamous Undie 500 car rally has become yet another casualty of last Saturday's earthquake in Christchurch.

Organisers of the annual event, the University of Canterbury Engineering Society (Ensoc), have pulled the pin on the event, now known as the Roundie 500 Charity Drive.

In a

, Ensoc said they could not justify running an event such as the Roundie 500 at such a time when so many people in Christchurch were going through strife.

2.34pm

Do you have an earthquake story to share? Email it to

, who are planning to publish an edition of people's personal tales.

2.24pm

Sewage has polluted parts of the Avon River, normally one of the scenic highlights of Christchurch.

People are warned not to take water from the river or let pets go in.

Warning signs have gone up in the areas adjacent to the river bank.

2.22pm

There are a whole bunch of photos of the devastation and the clean-up at

.

2.12pm

A company is generously offering free bottled water to Christchurch residents who need it.

SpringFresh water from Tai Tapu will be dropping off the free water to the following locations at 3pm:

* cnr of Linwood Ave and Avonside Drive

* cnr of Dallington Tce, Gayhurst Rd, and Locksley Rd

* cnr of Kingsford St and Tasman Pl

* cnr of Hulverstone Dr and Briarmont St

* cnr of Palmers Rd and Lindis Lane

* cnr of Admirals Way and Evans Ave.

2.10pm

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee is dismissing speculation the local body elections in Christchurch could be deferred.

Rumours have been flying around that candidates are about to be told everything will be put off. However Mr Brownlee says none of this has been communicated to him, and a delay to elections "won't happen".

2.01pm

A glazing company has brought in staff from all over the country to help it replace glass-shattered Christchurch homes.

"We are replacing broken windows but also boarding up a lot of homes and businesses to make them temporarily secure", said Smith and Smith commercial director Julia Dol. (NZPA)

1.55pm

Tickets to some matches in Canterbury during next year's Rugby World Cup have been set aside for those affected by Saturday's earthquake.

"The people of Canterbury have obviously got so many other things on their minds, so what we're going to do is reserve some tickets (for them)," said NZRU chairman Jock Hobbs.

1.50pm

The latest information on

. Monday Sept 13 is the common day for re-opening.

1.15pm

An aftershock measuring 4.2 on the Richter scale has hit Canterbury. The quake struck at 12.38pm near the town of Springfield, with a focal depth of 15km. The quake was felt throughout Christchurch city, according to

.

1.10pm

It's great that rental accommodation website

now have a large and growing list of places that have some spare room for unfortunate people displaced by the Christchurch earthquake. For example: Dunedin may be "just down the road" from Christchurch, so we liked the entry from some students there to "Come live as a Scarfie for a wee while".

12.57pm

From

, news that Akaroa Library is open again from today, and Central Library will be open tomorrow from 9am-5pm and for normal opening hours over the weekend (10am-4pm Saturday and Sunday). Other libraries remain closed. Here are

after Saturday's quake.

12.44pm

Worth bookmarking, if you want to view all the earthquake news, photos, video and links since Day One in one place, is our dedicated

section on nzherald.co.nz.

12.40pm

New cordons are in place on one of Christchurch's busiest roads after two buildings were declared unsafe.

Police today set up cordons at several intersections of Riccarton Rd and asked the public to avoid the area.

One building was to be demolished, while the other would have its facade removed.

12.35pm

New Zealand Post postal services in Canterbury have been suspended on Saturday to give staff a break.

chief executive Brian Roche said posties, rural delivery and box sorting employees and contractors had done a tremendous job to keep the mail system working since the quake.

The temporary suspension of services on Saturday meant there would be no postal deliveries in Christchurch and related rural areas.

PostShops and PostCentres would be open as usual on Saturday, apart from those currently closed due to safety and access issues.

12.20pm

I suppose it was only a matter of time before earthquake-related items started appearing on

.

11.54am

Hundreds of insurance assessors, some from as far away as America and Europe, have arrived in Christchurch to deal with claims after the weekend's massive 7.1 magnitude quake, says the Insurance Council.

Insurance staff were working with local authorities, central government and other recovery agencies. (NZPA)

11.32am

Another aftershock measuring 3.4 on the Richter scale has struck Canterbury.

The quake hit at 10.47am and had a focal depth of 6km. It struck 10km north-east of Darfield.

10.58am

is warning the

in North Canterbury has been contaminated. It appears some waste from the earthquake-hit region has entered the water.

The river is contaminated in its lower reaches, downstream of McLeans Island, and people are being warned to stay away.

The Civil Defence warnings relate to the water itself, and the collection of marine life such as fish and shellfish.

The river should not be used for swimming or boating, either.

10.32am

The Mental Health Foundation has produced a

for Cantabrians with suggestions and tips on how to cope with the aftermath of the earthquake and aftershocks.

Foundation chief executive Judi Clements said today the guide was compiled as a result of the experiences of staff in its Christchurch office who had all been personally affected by the earthquake. (NZPA)

10.00am

Canterbury workers are facing their first bout of job losses as a result of Saturday's earthquake. 86 workers have reportedly lost their jobs at Kaiapoi's New World supermarket. The badly-damaged supermarket is unlikely to re-open for at least twelve months.

9.35am

More aftershocks in Canterbury.

The first measured 3.6 on the Richter scale and struck at 9.04am.

Its epicentre was 10km north-east of Darfield and had a focal depth of 7km.

Two minutes later another aftershock hit. That one measured 3.2 on the Richter scale and struck at 9.06am. It had a focal depth of 5km.

9.33am

A

has links to central and local government agencies and others supporting the response to the Canterbury earthquake.

9.30am

Owners of heritage buildings are being warned not to just go ahead and knock down their buildings, as this

by Barry Clarke explains.

Demolition cannot be undertaken without the written approval of the Christchurch City Council, for good reason.

9.22am

"Go stand in a doorway." It's always been the standard mantra of what to do if you're caught up in an earthquake - but the old saying is actually misleading.

Forget about door-frames - they offer little protection, and in fact, you might get whacked by a swinging door.

The

offers advice on how to maximise your chances of surviving uninjured.

For example: "In modern homes, doorways are no stronger than any other part of the structure ... If you are in bed, stay there, hold on and protect your head with a pillow.

"If outdoors, lie on a clear spot on the ground away from trees and poles."

9.00am

This neat

has had - literally - millions of hits, according to developer

of Eagle Technology Group.

8.41am

Victim Support numbers in Canterbury have been boosted by 40 workers from around New Zealand.

Trained volunteers are advising people of the support that's available to them and helping people deal with stress, grief and anxiety.

Victim Support is stationed at welfare centres and some WINZ offices in Christchurch, and Christchurch Hospital's emergency department.

There is also the 0800 VICTIM (0800 842 846) free calling number for people who are upset.

8.29am

Personal accounts of the frightening events of Saturday morning are getting global audiences. For example: University of Canterbury philosophy lecturer Denis Dutton has written an article published on

The Daily Beast

about

of the earthquake. And writer Wen Baragrey told msnbc about

.

8.20am

A

has been created by a Wellington man to help people in Canterbury find out tons of useful information; ie, what services and shops are open, locations of portaloos and water tankers, what roads and bridges are closed, etc etc.

Anyone can add information to the map, which is continuously being updated. The map contains around 150 points of interest and had more than 30,000 visitors yesterday.

7.55am

Canterbury was again rocked by aftershocks overnight which included three quakes measuring 4.5, 4.2 and 4.0 on the Richter scale.

In all, Canterbury has received 270 aftershocks of magnitude 3 or above since Saturday morning. GNS Science seismologist Brian Ferris estimates people would have felt about 150 of them.

7.40am

The

, a sister paper for the New Zealand Herald, is compiling "stories of the quake" for citizens to tell their tales of coping in an earthquake-stricken city.

To tell your story email

.

7.35am

Most schools and early childhood centres in Christchurch, Waimakariri and Selwyn districts are expected to remain closed today. We've heard that Southbridge Primary Schools will be open today.

Individual boards of trustees are tomake the decision whether to open or not.

7.15am

Great news that water in Christchurch no longer needs to be boiled, authorities announced last night. Tests showed up no evidence of bacterial contamination. However, a notice is still in place to boil water in parts of the Waimakariri district, including Kaiapoi, Waikuku Beach, Woodend and Pines Beach.

7.00am

APN News & Media, publisher of nzherald.co.nz, is today launching a nation-wide appeal for Christchurch earthquake victims with an initial company contribution of $100,000.

The appeal is being partnered by The Radio Network and will be supported by the company's newspapers, magazines, websites and radio stations across the country.