Homeowners in the worst of the quake-hit suburbs of Christchurch will have to wait at least a week before they know whether they will have to relocate or can rebuild.
The Earthquake Commission is still finalising a report that will detail engineers' findings on areas affected by liquefaction following a 7.1 magnitude quake that hit Canterbury on 4 September.
Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says he will make an announcement on the report in a week to 10 days.
Prime Minister John Key says he hopes that will reduce some of the anxiety felt by people living in the worst-hit suburbs such as Bexley and Avonside.
Mr Key says it will not necessarily shorten the whole process of how long it takes to either rebuild or relocate, but it will provide some answers and certainty to homeowners.
Initial reports from engineers and insurance companies are positive and suggest much of the land can be revitalised, he says.