Homeowners in parts of Christchurch worst hit by the earthquake have permission to stay on their land but are still in the dark over the way ahead.

Frustrated residents spoken to by the Herald have been assured the damaged land on their properties can be fixed, but they do not know how long it will take, how it will affect their insurance and how they will live in the meantime.

About 1200 owners of properties badly damaged by last month's 7.1 magnitude quake are being contacted this week about their land. Only 16 properties identified by the Earthquake Commission are deemed too costly to fix.

Owners of those 16 properties were "comfortable with the situation as it stands" and would await compensation packages, said a spokesman for Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee.

Angela Wasley got a call to tell her she could rebuild on her badly damaged section in the quake-ravaged suburb of Avonside.

She was told she would need to negotiate with her insurance company about the next step. An information package is due in the mail today.

"It's really frustrating because ... we just get presented with some sort of answer which immediately opens us up to four more questions," she said.

"It's a constant battle really. It's taking so much time, so much energy, and it's so stressful that it's just getting ridiculous. There doesn't seem to be ... some sort of allocation for the thought that we are all going to have to [temporarily] relocate, and where we are going to go."

Ms Wasley's home still has no sewerage or drainage.

Her situation is further complicated by the fact her home is joined to a Housing New Zealand property and she does not know what will be done with that building.

Lavina Pockson, who lives with her husband and three children in one of Christchurch's worst-hit streets, in Bexley, also got a call to say their land could be fixed.

"It's nice to know that answer for definite. But now the huge, big question is: How long is it going to take?"

There had been talk that it could take up to two years to fix the land, Mrs Pockson said.

It would also take time for the badly damaged family home to be demolished and another home built on the site, and she questioned who would pay for them to live elsewhere.

The family had considered leaving it all behind but "we have got work and school to think about".

"And we love living on this side of town."