Information for Port Hills Residents - CERA / CCC

Posted on 16th February 16

Please see link to information from CERA and the Christchurch City Council on Port Hills post-Feb 14th earthquake. 


Following the 5.7 magnitude earthquake on Sunday 14 February, the Council and Land Information New Zealand have worked together to inspect high-risk Port Hills areas which are subject to geotechnical hazards, including rockfall, cliff collapse and mass movement (or landslides). Below you'll find an update about these inspections, along with updates on the Sumner Lyttelton Corridor, Port Hills walking tracks, how to lodge a claim with EQC as well as Civil Defence advice about living in a mass movement area.

Mass movement areas closely monitored 

Following the February 14 Earthquake, all Class 1 mass movement areas in the Port Hills have been inspected by geotechnical engineers.  No issues have been reported, but engineers will continue to monitor these areas.


Remediation works at the Brae, and at McCormacks Bay have now resumed. Construction of the Bund at McCormacks Bay is well underway.


The quake serves as a reminder to people living on the hills to be aware of slope stability issues. Keep any eye out for changes that show the ground may be moving including:

  • New cracks of bulges on the ground, road, footpath, retaining walls
  • Cracks that get longer, wider or deeper
  • Doors and window frames not fitting properly
  • Gaps in the wall and floor that get bigger
  • Steps, decks and verandas moving or tilting away from the house
  • New springs leaks or surface water flow
  • Small slips, rockfalls and subsidence at the bottom of slopes

If you notice any of these things, and you think there is a risk to life, evacuate, and call 111 from a safe distance away. Alert your neighbours.

If you don't think there is a risk to life, please call the Council on 941 8999 and tell us what is happening in your area.

Sumner Lyttelton Corridor Update

In response to the earthquake on Sunday, the Council and LINZ have been working to inspect areas of the Port Hills subject to geotechnical hazards.

Geotechnical engineers have noted that most of the slope stability issues relate to cliff collapse off the main cliff areas including Whitewash Head, Richmond Hill, Redcliffs and Peacocks Gallop. These are all areas previously identified by GNS Science as being at high risk. Rockfall from these cliffs has been limited to areas which are primarily red zoned.

On Wakefield Avenue and along Main Road, the temporary protection works (including ballasted shipping containers) have stopped the debris from reaching the road. The containment of rockfall and cliff collapse debris clearly demonstrates that the interim protections we have in place are effective.


More damage has been observed around the portal of Moa Bone Cave where fractures in the rock have widened. The jointing around blocks in the cliff face here has also loosened. 


This latest aftershock is a timely reminder of the need to strictly adhere to access restrictions in high hazard areas.


Sumner Rd Evans Pass to Lyttelton

We don't expect the recent earthquakes to have any impact on the works planned at Crater Rim Bluffs above Sumner Road (area 3B).


The reports from a helicopter survey on Sunday suggest there is little damage from the most recent earthquake, other than some new rockfall on the road.


Port Hills Tracks all reopened

Rangers and geotechnical experts have inspected all Council tracks in the Port Hills, and all tracks that were closed due to the February 14 Earthquake have now been reopened.


Cattlestock Crag rock climbing site remains closed until further inspections can be made.

Dean’s Head Demolitions on hold after Valentine’s Day Earthquake

Demolition work has been suspended at Dean’s Head following the recent earthquakes, but work should resume as normal in the next few days.

Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) has been inspecting Crown-owned sites around the Port Hills residential red zone and found only minor damage.


Demolitions at Deans Head are about 75% complete. The remaining demolitions are the most dangerous, and the site has been closed while engineers inspect the area to make sure it’s safe for work to continue.


LINZ Group Manager Port Hills Red Zone Brenden Winder said the health and safety of the workers on the site was paramount.


“As we saw on Sunday, some of these cliff tops are extremely dangerous places to be when an earthquake hits, and we’re not going to allow people back onto the site until we know it’s safe.


“All the safety precautions we’ve put in place over the last few years – fences, shipping containers, exclusion zones, and so on – have done their job, minimising damage and the risk to the public.


“We’ve got experts inspecting the Dean’s Head site at the moment, and we’re hoping they’ll give us the all-clear to restart work in the next few days.”

Three months to lodge EQC claims from Sunday’s earthquakes

People who have suffered damage to their home, land or contents from Sunday’s earthquakes in Canterbury have three months until Monday 16 May to lodge their claim with the Earthquake Commission (EQC).


People can lodge claims with EQC online at, via email on or by calling 0800 DAMAGE (326 243). The EQC contact centre is open 7am to 9pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 6pm on Saturdays.


Customers must have a home or contents fire insurance policy with an insurance company on their home at the time of the earthquakes to make a claim for home, contents and/or land damage. It is helpful if customers have the details of their insurance policy at hand when they contact EQC.


EQC covers earthquake damage to homes (usually up to $100,000 + GST), contents (usually up to $20,000 + GST) and a defined area of residential land.


Making homes safe

If you need to take action to make your home safe, sanitary, secure and weather-tight, you should record the work done, take photographs where appropriate, and keep a copy of any bills paid. Reimbursement for temporary or urgent repairs is subject to EQC’s acceptance of a valid claim.