Civil Defence Minister John Carter says cash donations are the best way to support people affected by the Christchurch earthquake.
The 6.3-magnitude quake on Tuesday has caused widespread damage and loss of life.
Mr Carter says money is the quickest and easiest way to help organisations working in the city get exactly what they need.
The minister says it will be some time before the logistics to handle donations of goods are available and if there is a specific need for goods Civil Defence will make a public appeal.
Businesses wanting to offer expertise and people wanting to volunteer are asked to wait and not send staff to Christchurch.
Cash donations can be made through the Red Cross, Salvation Army and any of the main banks.
Red Cross appeal launched
The Red Cross on Wednesday launched the New Zealand Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Appeal to support those affected by the quake.
All funds will be used in the Red Cross response to the disaster, including transport and provision of goods.
More than $20 million was donated to the Red Cross following the 7.1-magnitude quake on 4 September last year.
A mayoral fund has also been set up for donations to support people affected by the quake.
Donations can be made to the BNZ bank. The account number is 02-0800-084958-000.