Anniversary of first big Canterbury quake

3:41 pm on 4 September 2012

The people of Canterbury are remembering the first earthquake that shook them awake on 4 September two years ago.

The magnitude 7.1 quake occurred at 4.36am, causing widespread damage but no fatalities.

Some 11,200 quakes have been recorded since then, including a magnitude 6.3 earthquake on 22 February last year that killed 185 people and damaged much of central Christchurch.

The town of Kaiapoi was hit particularly hard on 4 September 2010. The Waimakari Earthquake Support Service says 974 houses were subsequently red-zoned, meaning the land is unsuitable to be rebuilt on.

Waimakariri District Mayor David Ayers says the area, which includes Kaiapoi, needs answers from the Government about the future of red-zone land.

Mr Ayres told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme it is difficult to plan for infrastructure around Kaiapoi without knowing the Government's intentions for the land.