A new memorial has been blessed in an emotional ceremony this evening at the site of Christchurch's Canterbury Television building which claimed 115 lives when it collapsed in the February 22, 2011, earthquake.

The six-storey concrete office block on the corner of Madras and Cashel streets pancaked in the violent shaking seven years ago tomorrow.

The cleared site, now owned by Crown development company Ōtākaro Limited, has been transformed over the past five months into a peaceful and reflective memorial space.

Three of the car parks and much of the ill-fated building's foundation have been retained, while planter boxes have been placed on the eastern side where concrete is exposed.


There's also cherry and kowhai trees alongside the site's four surviving trees, a lush green lawn, a stone feature that trickles water into a garden, and the western edge's foundation is covered with stone chip. Some of the families who lost loved ones also helped with the planting.

Mementos and flowers have already been left beside words of remembrance that reminds visitors: "This is a special place."

"We recognise some people may wish to see and touch this foundation, while others may prefer not to. This mix of surfaces caters for that," said Ōtākaro chief executive Albert Brantley.

"The intention is that this site becomes a peaceful place in the central city for people to sit and reflect, among grass and gardens."

A poignant site blessing this evening was followed by waiatas and words from Mayor of Christchurch Lianne Dalziel who described it as "a beautiful place to ensure their memories are kept alive".

Tomorrow, the seventh anniversary of the devastating magnitude-6.3 quake where a total of 185 people died will be marked with a public Civic Service at the Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial site on the banks of the Avon River.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will speak at the service, which begins at 12.30pm.

The names of the 185 people who lost their lives will be read out in the order they appear on the Memorial Wall and a minute's silence will be marked at 12.51pm, the time the quake struck seven years ago.


It will be followed by the opportunity to lay floral tributes at the Memorial Wall across the river.

Chairman of the Quake Families Trust Tim Elms, whose daughter Teresa McLean died in the CTV building collapse, will help welcome guests on behalf of the city.

Dalziel said the theme of this year's service, "Keeping their dreams alive", helps the city reflect with a sense of "hope and aspiration for the future".

"It also helps us to recall all those who came to our rescue and those who offered support at our time of need and what that meant to us," Dalziel said.