Inspection of homes in worst hit areas of Christchurch complete

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Police now believe 182 people died in Christchurch's devastating earthquake but say it could take months for the last bodies to be identified.

* John Kristoffer Villegas Chua, 24, of the Philippines
* Chang Lai, 27, of China

This brings the total number of names released to 142. We will add these in the coming days to the Christchurch list. Both Mr Chua and Ms Lai were students at King's Education on the third floor of the CTV building. Both were believed to be nurses. Ms Lai called her father in China soon after the quake struck and said: "I'm dying, Dad," before the phone cut out, reported a Chinese newspaper.
At today's press conference Superintendent Dave Cliff said police expected the death toll to climb from the current number of 166 confirmed dead to 182. Previously they estimated the toll would be 180.

Most of the USAR staff have now left Christchurch.

Civil Defence national coordinator Steve Brazier gave an update on the number of buildings which had been given a red tag, indicating they were unsafe to enter. Of 61,000 homes checked for damage, 1630 had been given red tags and of the 4067 commercial buildings checked, 840 received red tags, Mr Brazier said. (As reported from the NZ Herald).
"This is not a demolition order: it is a notice to the owner that their building is dangerous."

Electricity company Orion said, excluding customers in the CBD, power had been restored to all but a few small pockets of customers in the eastern suburbs. Power is still off to about 40 per cent of the CBD due to damaged substations and cables and restricted access for safety reasons.

Police are happy with the progress they were making retrieving cars which had been abandoned in the central business district after February 22's quake. Only 20 vehicles remain unknown in the city centre following the quake (the rest have been claimed). Vehicle owners were warned that some vehicles could take weeks to recover because of severe damage to car park buildings.

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Foreword from Earthquake-Report : Earthquake-Report is once again surprised about the excellent way the earthquake aftermath has been managed by ALL the stakeholders in this tragedy. We truly hope that a lot of governments, City delegations and rescue and servicing staff from earthquake sensitive areas in the world will have the possibility to learn from this, probably not perfect, but certainly one of the best earthquake responses so far.

Please note that : State homes are only a limited part of the total number of buildings in the hard hit areas

Housing New Zealand (HNZ) has inspected all of its homes in the areas of Christchurch most affected by the Christchurch earthquake, says Housing Minister Phil Heatley.

HNZ has over 50 staff on the ground in Christchurch working in communities, checking on tenants and assessing the safety of homes. It has completed checks on more than 4500 homes including 2,600 in the eastern suburbs, and other areas badly affected by February™s earthquake.

Of these 2600 state homes, nearly 500 homes showed some significant structural damage, 100 homes were deemed uninhabitable with around 20 seemingly damaged beyond repair.

HNZ is finding new accommodation for those tenants made homeless as a priority. Around 30 state tenant families have chosen to leave Christchurch and be housed elsewhere in the country on temporary tenancies.

"During the course of the inspections, it became clear to HNZ that damage in the suburb of Shirley warranted an extension of the rent relief scheme. Consequently all HNZ tenants in Shirley will pay no rent between 22 February and 15 March," says Mr Heatley.

"HNZ will continue to check on the remainder of its more than 6000 homes in Christchurch over the coming week. More minor repair work is already well under way with more than 2600 jobs let out to contractors (NB. One house could require multiple jobs).

"Tenant safety is an important focus for HNZ. More than 18,000 people live in state homes in Christchurch, and we want to ensure those who remain in them, are living in properties that are structurally safe," Mr Heatley said.

For more information on the rent relief scheme please click here

Offers of accommodation to those made homeless by February™s earthquake are currently outstripping demand in Christchurch.

Housing Minister Phil Heatley says staff from Housing New Zealand (HNZ) and the Department of Building and Housing (DBH) are working around the clock, collating offers of emergency accommodation and finding shelter for those made homeless by the earthquake.

"HNZ, as part of its civil defence response is assessing emergency housing need, matching people with existing housing supplies and supporting communities to run their own accommodation services.

"DBH is working closely with Civil Defence and Christchurch City Council and is taking the lead in sourcing and procuring additional housing and land supply," Mr Heatley says.

"Currently offers of existing accommodation made to the 0800 HELP 00 outweigh demand. As of yesterday HNZ had more than 2000 offers of accommodation and 552 people requiring emergency housing.

"However we believe demand will increase significantly in the coming weeks and months as people return to Canterbury and as rebuilding begins," says Mr Heatley.

"A coordinated response and an action plan has been developed that will be rolled out as demand increases. DBH is working to secure a range of emergency, short-term and longer-term accommodation.

"In the short term, people will require access to suitable alternative accommodation that is self contained, says Mr Heatley.

"Temporary housing must be highly portable and easily erected, with self-contained sewerage and waste systems. Independent units with dedicated cooking and laundry facilities are preferable," he said.

As a first step DBH has identified and held campervans and mobile-homes. The first two sites that could be used for the placement of this temporary accommodation are the Canterbury Park A&P Showgrounds and the Riccarton Race Course.

The first campervans and mobile homes can be moved on site once essential services such as a water supply are put in place.

Rental charges will apply to this housing, but grants are in place to help people who are struggling to meet costs.

œFollowing September™s earthquake a number of sites with access to amenities were identified. DBH will continue to assess the suitability of these sites for the provision of temporary and longer-term housing solutions including specialized portacabins and temporary modular housing.

"DBH will revisit land identified as suitable post September™s earthquake and confirm it has not been adversely affected by liquefaction or other damage, so that temporary accommodation can be put in place as and when it is required," said Mr Heatley.

Part of the ext : © Housing New Zealand Corporation


  1. To all New Zealanders. Every one of you are very precious. You all live in an awesome country. A country that is unlike any other. My people...all New Zealanders are very special to me. I am think ing of you all. I love you all. Huia.