Background information: demolition, partial demolition or make safe work

The earthquakes of 4 September 2010 and 22 February 2011 caused widespread major damage in Christchurch and Canterbury. Continuing aftershocks, in particular those on 13 June 2011, caused further damage.

Works to carry out demolitions, partial demolitions and make safe occurred in two different periods.

(1) From 22 February to 30 April 2011 a National State of Emergency was in place under the Ministry of Civil Defence Emergency Management (MCDEM). Work to make Greater Christchurch safe, particularly commercial buildings in the CBD red zone, after the 22 February earthquake was done under (MCDEM) powers.

Buildings were assessed by engineers. Those determined to be dangerous required full demolition, partial demolition or make safe work.

This work was paid for by the Government (via MCDEM). Reimbursement of the costs was sought by the building owner and/or the owner's insurance company. 

(2) From 1 May to 12 July 2011 a transition period occurred. CERA emergency management measures continued under section 85 of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011 (CER Act). This included demolitions initiated under MCDEM. During this period full demolition, partial demolition and make safe work also continued.

Much of this work was carried out by CERA, in agreement with the building owner. The building owner and/or the building owner's insurance company were invoiced.

The 13 June aftershock required many buildings, particularly in the CBD red zone, to have urgent work carried out. This is because the buildings presented an immediate danger. This work was carried out by CERA. Building owners were invoiced. CERA recommended building owners contact their insurance companies as early as possible to meet invoice payment deadlines.