A Christchurch city council team leader has told a hearing there was an element of chaos after the September 2010 earthquake, until systems were put in place.
The Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission has been hearing evidence about several buildings on Colombo Street that collapsed in the quake the following February - killing 12 people.
The head of the council's building recovery unit, Vincie Billante, told the hearing safety was paramount for engineers who inspected buildings.
But, she said, while assessments had indicated one building had a problem with its southern wall, there was no information to suggest the front facade was compromised.
Ms Billante admitted that safety on public streets was the council's responsibility but said initially the local authority lacked the framework to handle the situation.
She said greater clarification of the council's jurisdiction would be helpful.