Business and building owners in the area surrounding the quake-damaged Reading Cinema car park building in Wellington have slowly been regaining access.

Cordons remain up on Tory St in the city centre where the building, badly damaged in the Kaikoura earthquake, is being demolished.

It is hoped the area will be reopened in early April.

Residents and business owners in the area were forced out shortly after the earthquake when the structural damage to the car park building was realised, but as demolition works have continued, some people have been able to return, Wellington City Council business relations manager Phil Becker said.


"As parts of the cordon have reduced . . . we've been able to get business and building owners back into their buildings," Becker said in an update to retailer group OurCBD.

"At some point we will pull the cordons back, that's likely to be in the second week of March."

There would be a look at "some sort of collaborative reopening of Tory St" when the area was finally safe for the public again, but what that would look like was not yet being revealed.

Reading Cinema would likely be making contributions, Becker said.

First Retail Group director Chris Wilkinson said it was "humbling" how the community had helped those kicked out of their buildings.

"There was some vulnerable businesses there that some of the stronger businesses got alongside."

Becker said it had been "all hands to the pump".

"The boundaries of competitor, they tend to evaporate somewhat when this happens, and they just help each other out."

"It's early days but I think that we will have something pretty cool happening down there at the right time, which I think will be early April."