Christchurch City Council will decide tomorrow morning if it is safe enough to hold the traditional New Year's Eve celebrations in Cathedral Square after aftershocks on Boxing Day damaged buildings in the centre of the city.

City Environment group general manager Jane Parfitt says council engineers were in the final stages of evaluating the safety of buildings around the square. Deputy Mayor Ngaire Button is expected to hold a media briefing at 10am.

Other locations for the celebration have been ruled out.

"We are working hard to ensure this event can go ahead but we want to ensure that if it is held, that people can enjoy their New Year's celebrations safely," Ms Parfitt said.

Meanwhile a Christchurch shopping mall reopened today as the Earthquake Commission revealed it had fired assessors after claimants complained about being treated poorly.

EQC chief operating officer Lance Dixon said yesterday a small number of New Zealand and Australian loss adjusters and estimators had been sent home after not showing the expected empathy when dealing with quake victims, The Press reported.

Several quake-hit residents said they were in tears after their homes were inspected.

Mr Dixon said all complaints were taken seriously, and some had resulted in dismissals.

A complaints form has been set up on the EQC website.

The city centre retail hub, Cashel Street, reopened this morning after around two dozen aftershocks - the largest a magnitude 4.9 - shook the city on Boxing Day.

There was new damage and many inner city shops were closed on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

Cashel mall and surrounding streets were cordoned off on Boxing Day but those cordons were lifted this morning. Some individual buildings may remain closed off if deemed unsafe.

Council building inspectors and structural engineers have evaluated about 5000 buildings within the four avenues since the Boxing Day aftershock and around 115 required remedial work after damage during the weekend.

- NZPA