Demolitions definitions

A - Z

Archaeological authority

An archaeological authority is a permit that is required before any work can be undertaken on an archaeological site. NZHPT is the governing authority. CERA has established an agreement and consent process with NZHPT, under which applications for archaeological authorities for CERA demolitions are processed urgently.

Archaeological site

An archaeological site is any place associated with human activity that occurred prior to 1900, and includes buildings constructed prior to 1900. In Christchurch the whole area inside the four avenues was associated with human activity before 1900, so an archaeological authority is required for any work below ground level within the CBD. Other areas in greater Christchurch are also archaeological sites. For information on the locations of archaeological sites contact the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.

Building consent

A building consent verifies that the work proposed complies with the building code. Technical information is required to ensure the demolition work plan is safe and will minimise disruption to utilities and neighbouring properties and other property owners.


Central Business District, as bounded by the Four Avenues. (CER Act 2011, Part 1, Section 4)


The full demolition of a building or structure, including the removal of debris and levelling of the site to ensure ongoing safety.


All below ground structures including basements, below ground retaining walls or foundations. Where an archaeological authority is required some basements may be left intact.

Make safe

The removal of immediate fall dangers such as cracked parapets and loose bricks, and the propping/shoring of walls to protect public safety and prevent potential damage to adjacent buildings. This category includes emergency shoring of critical buildings to allow further engineering assessments to be safely carried out.


The New Zealand Historic Places Trust.

Partial demolition

The removal of part of a building for immediate safety reasons. This includes the removal of walls, facades and part structures.

Rebuild zone (Central City or CBD)

Area within the central city where a cordon has been set up.

Resource consent

If you want to do something that is not permitted by district or regional plan, you may need to apply for resource consent. Contact the city or district council responsible for managing activities on the land, e.g. building, demolition and earthworks. Contact the regional council responsible for activities impacting on air or water, e.g. earthworks in or near a stream.

Building consent is required, and resource consent may need to be obtained, when a building owner wishes to change the use of a building (particularly Heritage buildings). CERA has an agreement with CCC where the CCC Heritage Team manage document approval, photographic record keeping, building salvage, materials recovery and monitoring.


Localised commercial ventures within the red zone that are prioritised for demolition work and rebuild, on a case-by-case basis.