GNS Science says the probability of a magnitude 6 earthquake in Canterbury over the next year has dropped from 17% to 13%, but tremors will continue in the region for decades to come.
The region has suffered severe damage following quakes that began in September 2010, including a fatal 6.3 quake on 22 February last year that destroyed parts of central Christchurch.
The new model was unveiled at a briefing by the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority on Friday morning.
Kelvin Berryman from GNS Science says earlier forecasts of damaging quakes for Canterbury had been overly pessimistic.
Dr Berryman says a team of scientists from the United States, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand has worked to choose the most suitable earthquake modelling system.
The end result - which takes into account the quake on 23 December last year and aftershocks in January - shows a slight drop in the probability of aftershocks over the next year.
However, Dr Berryman says tremors will continue to be a feature of the Canterbury region for decades to come.