Minister welcomes planned quake briefing

10:14 pm on 3 January 2012

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says he welcomes information about the Canterbury quakes being made public from a planned briefing with scientists.

Christchurch mayor Bob Parker says the city council will meet with GNS scientists on Friday to get some answers about the current sequence of earthquakes.

Mr Parker says the latest quakes have sparked rumours and anxiety among residents and the briefing will ease concerns.

Throughout Monday Christchurch was rattled by 32 tremors of magnitude 3 or more, including one of 5.5 - most of them centred in Pegasus Bay.

Mr Brownlee hasn't yet decided whether to go to the briefing as he's already well aware of the scientific information but he says he has made sure Government agencies can attend.

Mr Brownlee believes factual information on the quakes should be publicly available and says it would be great if the meeting reinforced that message.

He says despite the appalling timing of the latest quakes, they've caused minimal damage.

Mr Parker told Radio New Zealand News on Tuesday he understands the current sequence is unusual globally and the meeting will aim to get the most up-to-date data from scientists.

The mayor says social network posts suggest some Christchurch residents do not think they are getting the full story about the quakes.

Mr Parker says while that is not the case, people are anxious and he believes the scientific input will help them.

"Information to the best of our ability, up to the moment, is the best cure for rumour and uncertainty. So let's find out from the horse's mouth. Let's find out what the scientists are thinking at the moment, collectively."

Mr Parker says the meeting is open to local MPs, the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority and city stakeholders such as the district health board, as well as media who can then relay the information to residents.