Info for ChCh people

Latest Civil Defence Information that I just received from Nicky Wagner MP – who also lives in the city centre – so I’m passing it on

“More than a thousand people have called the Government’s earthquake helpline for assistance. The 0800 double seven – triple nine – seven helpline has been operating since 4pm yesterday.  Staff answering calls have provided advice and referrals for 1,070 people affected by yesterday’s massive earthquake.

People calling the helpline can get information on income support, housing options, health issues, community assistance, clean-up and how to contact any other services people may need.

The helpline, coordinated by the Ministry of Social Development’s Work and Income service, will run 24 hours a day.

Building Evaluation


The team have assessed about half of the cordoned-off area of the central city. The road cordons will be lifted as soon as Police and Civil Defence are satisfied that the area is safe.

The buildings which have been assessed have colour-coded notices placed on them to show their status following the earthquake.

Commercial buildings in the city are being given a safety status of either Green, Yellow or Red – with Red meaning no occupation and Green having no restriction on occupancy.

The assessment teams are advising owners also to engage a structural engineer if they have any doubts on the building.

The status notices are as follows:

GREEN: Building inspected and no restriction on occupancy based on the inspection. You may still want to get the building checked by a structural engineer.

YELLOW:  Restricted Use – no entry except on essential business. The advice for the owners of these buildings is to get the building checked by structural engineers. Entry only for essential purposes like damage assessment, making safe  or as indicated on the check boxes.

RED:  Do not enter or occupy – building is seriously damaged and unsafe based on our inspection. This is not a demolition order. The advice for the owners of these buildings is to get the building checked by structural engineers and not to enter or allow entry to the building.

Power Supply


Orion tells me that they have now restored power supply to approximately 95% of their customers.

One of the reasons for the delays in some areas is that we have to thoroughly check our network equipment to ensure that further damage won’t be caused when we turn the power back on.

It may be 2-3 days before power can be restored to some customers. In extreme cases, where a single home or business is still without power in an area where power has otherwise been restored, it may take 4 or 5 days.

Orion has worked hard to engineer its network to be resilient in these kinds of events, and as a result no major network assets were seriously damaged by the quake, meaning power has been restored reasonably rapidly in many areas.

Due to the fact that none of our major equipment failed, customers still affected by power cuts are in pockets scattered across the network, rather than being concentrated in a few specific areas.


Water Supply


Managing water supplies and waste water is our biggest challenge especially in the East of the city. Yesterday engineers identified over 100 breaks in the system and they are actively working their way through those breaks.  Wherever water is still unable to be reticulated tanker trucks are available.

All sewerage pumping stations are now operational and the sewerage treatment plant is in operation. But people are still asked to boil water for three minutes until testing proves that it is safe.

However, the system is delicate and people are still being asked to conserve water and to minimise flushing.

Solid Waste

All rubbish collections and services will be available this week.

Food Availability

Most supermarkets will be open tomorrow.

School Closures

Schools and early childhood centres in Christchurch, Waimakariri, and Selwyn districts will be closed until Wednesday following Chief Medical Officer of Health advising all public buildings are to remain closed until Wednesday.

School closures are advisable in the best interests of safety and continued assessment of school property.

Welfare Centres

These are open at Linwood High School, Addington Raceway and Burnside High School. If you need any help just come along. I will be working at Linwood tonight.

Local information

Call the City Council Helpline – 941-8999

Finally- some tips on getting your insurance claims underway

  1. Make sure your property is secure.
  2. Contact the Earthquake Commission if necessary – 0800 652 333 ( this body pays the first $100,000 of any claim.)
  3. Remove any water damaged property.
  4. Take photographs.
  5. Consult your insurance agent asap.”

As I said earlier –  I am passing this on – make sure your friends and family know this too.

Author: Heather - the kiwi travel writer

Nomadic travel-writer, photographer, author & blogger. See more on and Amazon for my books (heather hapeta)