Category Archives: Animals and Pets

Reminders for recovery – 26 March 2011

Issued: Christchurch Earthquake Response, 26 March 2011

Reminders for recovery

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Christchurch is gradually progressing through the huge workload required to get the city back on its feet after the devastating 22 February earthquake.

After starting at ‘ground zero’ on the day of the quake, basic services are being stabilised, although many such as sewerage and stormwater remain fragile.

But there is still significant distress for affected residents, business owners and their staff, and there has been major disruption to services.

The current Civil Defence focus is on restoring water quality so that the ‘boil water’ notice can be lifted, improving the ability of the Christchurch Wastewater Treatment Plant to deal with the city’s sewerage, and making buildings safe enough to allow greater access to cordoned areas, along with maintaining health, safety and security as winter approaches.

Here are some reminders to help you and your family get back on your feet.

Getting support

  • Financial support – The Government Helpline (0800 779 997) offers emergency Civil Defence payments and the Christchurch Earthquake Support Package for employers and employees. There may be additional support through Work and Income (0800 559 009).
  • Language Line services are available on the Government Helpline for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds or you can call the settlement support helpline (0800 776 948) Monday to Friday, 8 am – 6 pm. Call 0508 55 88 55 for immigration-related enquiries.
  • Recovery Assistance Centres are still open around the city. Visit recovery-assistance-centres.html for details or see our Welfare page.
  • Recovery Information Kiosks have opened throughout Christchurch explaining where to find help.
  • Support and counselling are available on 0800 777 846.
  • Emergency accommodation – call 0800 HELP (0800 435 700). If you are a Housing New Zealand tenant with a damaged home, call 0800 801 601.
  • Maori and Pacific people can contact Te Runanga O Ngai Tahu (0800 524 8248) or Te Puni Kokiri (0800 875 839).
  • Schools and early childhood education – information is available from the Ministry of Education, phone 0800 22 55 80 or follow @MinEducationNZ on Twitter. You can also get school transport information from the Ministry, or contact your school.
  • Pets lost, found and fostered – visit or check out or the Canterbury “Pets and Animals” lost and found section of Trade Me.
  • Tell Red Cross you are home if you registered when you left. Phone 0800 RED CROSS (0800 733 276).

Health and hygiene

This information may have been superseded.
For the latest updates, go to the
Water Services page.

  • Boil water – for drinking and food preparation until further notice.
  • Toileting – our city’s sewerage system is fragile. If you have a chemical toilet and neighbourhood disposal tank, or if there is a portaloo near you, it means the sewerage system in your area is particularly vulnerable. Use these temporary measures if you can. If you are not in one of the vulnerable areas, flush as infrequently as possible.
  • Report raw sewage leaks by calling 941 8999 or 0800 800 169.
  • Wash your hands and use hand sanitiser frequently.
  • Waterways – Rivers, the estuary and the sea are contaminated. Keep out of them.
  • If you are unwell – seek help from a GP if necessary, limit contact with others and stay home from work or school.
  • Take care with food – Throw out smelly, mouldy or discoloured food and don’t refreeze food.

Getting around

The latest road and bridge closures are shown on the Earthquake and Services map or phone 0800 779 997.

  • Traffic is slow. New routes are expect to open next week that will further ease congestion, but please be patient and plan for delays.
  • Latest bus information is on Revised services are being added and most services are now running. Routes on the hill sections of the 15, 18 and 21 routes are still not served.

Safety and security

  • There is a big Police presence in the Christchurch area.
  • Police are focusing on earthquake-related activities such as enforcing security in the cordoned areas, as well as usual activities like alcohol related offences, disorderly behaviour and traffic offences.
  • Contact the Police if you notice any suspicious behaviour.
  • A total fire ban is in place. For your safety, don’t use gas bottles or barbecues inside.
  • Take care with electricity supply to your property if switching it on for the first time. See the NZ Fire Service page. Contact an electrician or Orion on (03) 363 9898 if you have any doubt

Prepare for winter

  • If you need urgent emergency repairs your home weatherproof, secure and sanitary. Call 0800 DAMAGE (0800 326 243).
  • Get your fireplace, freestanding fire or any heating device with a chimney or flue checked by a builder or heating specialist and have working smoke alarms and have a home escape plan.
  • Get a flu vaccination.

Council services

  • Kerbside collection – returns to normal in most parts of the city on 28 March. Take earthquake rubble, bricks and masonry to the Metro Place, Parkhouse Road or Styx Mill transfer stations. Keep your receipts for insurance purposes.
  • Rates – penalties will not be charged on late payments for rates due on 28 February and 15 March.
  • Council Service Centres are open at Fendalton, Sockburn, Beckenham, Linwood, Riccarton and Papanui Service Centres (9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday). The Papanui centre is also open 10 am to 1 pm on Saturdays. Lyttelton is operating from the Recreation Centre, 25 Winchester St.
  • Libraries are open at Spreydon, New Brighton, Parklands, Hornby, Bishopdale, South Library and Learning Centre, Akaroa, Diamond Harbour, Little River and Redwood.
  • Lyttelton Recreation Centre is open [as at 24 March]. Jellie Park, Pioneer and Cowles Stadium are likely to re-open soon. If you are in a Christchurch City Council recreation and swimming programme such as Swimsmart, pre-school gymnastics or Pilates, you will receive credit for any lessons missed due to closures. Options are being developed for fitness, pool and multi membership holders.



  • A red placard means the property is not safe – get a structural engineer to assess it.
  • A yellow placard means you should only enter with the supervision of an engineer.
  • A green placard means buildings are considered safe but further checks are recommended.

Car retrieval – new system

The Vehicle Recovery Team base has been moved to the Armagh St entrance to Hagley Park, open between 7 am and 8 pm daily.

  • Bring car keys, reasonable proof of ownership and some photo identification, such as a driver licence.
  • Once found, the team will return your vehicle to the base and contact you to pick it up. This may take some days but the team is working as quickly as possible.
  • To find out more, go to Vehicle Recovery on the Police website.


Civil Defence is helping business owners and inner city residents to return or retrieve vital information as cordoned areas are gradually made safe.

Let us know you’re home
If you registered with Red Cross before leaving town, please call again on 0800 RED CROSS (0800 733 276) to let us know you’re back.

More information:
Christchurch City Council telephone number: 941 8999 or 0800 800 169
Earthquake Government Helpline: 0800 779 997
Earthquake Commission (EQC): 0800 326 243
Orion (electricity): 363 9898
Quake Support and Counselling: 0800 777 846
Housing New Zealand Emergency Assistance: 0800 435 700
Ministry of Education Helpline: 0800 225 580

Updates as at 6 am, 5 March 2011

This information may have been superseded.
For the latest updates, go to the
Media Releases.

Water update
Water reservoirs around Canterbury are slowly filling up again, after passing checks for structural soundness.

There are 120 water crews working on restoring water supply.

Water has now been restored to 78% of Christchurch households

The public are advised that it is their responsibility to contact a plumber if they have leaking water pipes on their own properties.

Power Update
95% of homes have power.

14,000 customers are still without power but are expected to be reconnected by the end of Sunday, March 6.

Limit travel to Central City unless necessary
Although the Central City cordon will be reduced during the weekend, the public are urged only to travel into the area if they need to access their properties or homes. This is to ensure residents and business owners have priority access to the area.

Kerbside wheelie bin collection
From 7-11 March green organics bins (organic waste only) and red rubbish bins will be collected across the city, even if it is not the usual red bin collection day.

Human waste (solids only) can be put in the red bin but must be well wrapped in paper or a plastic bag.

Christchurch City Council will also resume its usual collection of the yellow recycling bin this week according to the normal schedules.

Information about green placards
Residents whose homes have received a green placard but who notice structural damage inside their homes are asked to engage their own structural engineer to assess their property.

Building inspectors issuing placards are generally assessing properties only for external damage, therefore it is possible that some homes could have damage inside that needs further investigation.

Portable toilet update
A total of 1141 portaloos have so far been delivered to Christchurch.

A further 60 will be delivered on Saturday 5 March and another 60 on Monday 7 March.

A total of 960 portaloos are expected to leave United States at the weekend.

A total of 4000 chemical toilets have arrived in Christchurch and delivery began on Wednesday, with an estimated 2000 delivered. A further 5000 will arrive from China on Tuesday 8 March.

A further 20,000 chemical toilets have been ordered. These are currently being manufactured at 1000 per day and will be air freighted 8000 at a time. It is still to be confirmed when they will be delivered.

Help for migrants
New migrants who need support following the Canterbury earthquake are able to call a freephone number set up by the Department of Labour. The freephone number is 0800 776 948 (0800 SSNZ4U) and is operational from Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm. Alternatively, residents can email

People affected by the earthquake who have immigration enquiries should visit or call 0508 55 88 55.

Health and Safety enquiries
Employees and employers with post-earthquake queries about health and safety and employment relations are advised to visit

Animal welfare
People are able to register lost or found animals at or at Any difficulties doing so, please call 0800 567 873.

Lost or found dogs can also be registered by calling Animal Welfare on 021 240 8310. To register serious injury or illness involving any species, call 03 349 7057 (daytime) or 03 366 3886 (night time).

Anyone needing the assistance of a vet should contact their usual vet during normal working hours. The after hours vet clinic is operating from its usual base, corner Antigua and Disraeli Streets, Addington, telephone 03 366 1052.

Wearing of masks
Police and USAR teams have been wearing masks to protect themselves from dust. However, the public generally do not need to wear a mask to protect themselves against silt dust if they are outside.
The public are advised, however, that if they are involved in demolition or building work of any kind that they should, as a matter of good practice, wear a mask. Masks are available from hardware stores and pharmacies.


Lincoln University will reopen on 14 March.
50 regional schools in the Waimak and Selwyn districts reopened this week

Australian Attorney-General visit – Saturday 5 March
Australian Attorney-General Robert McClelland and Hon Gerry Brownlee MP, Earthquake Recovery Minister, will be available for a joint media doorstop at 11.50am on Saturday, 5 March outside the Christchurch Art Gallery.