The Christchurch City Council and the Government are planning to purchase 16 properties in the Port Hills because of the high risk of landslides or cliff collapse.
The land has been made unstable by the ongoing earthquakes over the past four years. A further 21 properties will be made safe through a series of earthworks.
The council's chief planning officer Mike Theelen, says the purchasing of properties and the earthworks will cost $17 million and the costs will be shared evenly between the Government and the council.
"We're proposing that those purchase and remediation works be carried out over a 12- to 15-month period, and obviously that's going to be dependent on the negotiations we are able to conduct with landowners, also getting the appropriate consents for us to do the work."
Mr Theelen says four of the 16 properties that are being purchased are occupied.