Police in Christchurch say rubber-neckers are fraying the nerves of already distressed residents and should stay out of the central city.
They say minor incidents involving sightseers have flared up, and these incidents drain police resources from critical rescue efforts.
Police say it is vital no one other than inner-city residents enters the central city area, whether on foot, in cars or on bicycles, unless it is essential to do so.
They are urging people to respect the fact that the city centre is a disaster zone.
They say people should not make the job of police any more difficult than it already is, or the lives of local residents any more stressful.
The police say two men have been arrested and charged with burglary after being found in a dangerous and damaged building on Lincoln Road.
The police say intruders not only put themselves in danger from the risk of falling masonry in these circumstances, but could also endanger rescue personnel who would have to respond if there were injuries.
The police say with nearly 1,200 officers in Christchurch, they will have no problems responding to normal calls for service.