Building inspector and volunteer welfare officer look at the damage
Several hundred staff from local councils and government agencies - as well as the likes of Defence Force staff and Police - are now on the ground in Christchurch - and the first local people, including search and rescue volunteers, began to be 'rotated' back to Wellington for a rest at the weekend after more than a week of exhausting and often harrowing work.
Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says the emphasis is now on "getting infrastructure fixed, getting buildings safe and getting the city going again".
Council building inspectors, engineers and water and drainage staff are hard at work tackling the huge amount of damage in Christchurch and environs. They are likely to be joined by senior welfare staff later this week. Mayor Wade-Brown says the movement of staff and equipment between Christchurch and Wellington is set to continue "for weeks if not months".
Wellington City Civil Defence Controller Mike Mendonca says the deployment of resources to Christchurch is likely to mean some projects and 'business as usual' work in Wellington will have to be reprioritised or delayed. "But I think most Wellingtonians are fully aware that this is a genuine national emergency that requires a national response.
"It requires a lot of people and organisations to make sacrifices."
Mike adds there is also "self interest" in sending significant numbers of people south. "The experience these people will get is absolutely invaluable in terms of preparing the Wellington region for our own big emergency response which will inevitably be needed.
"No amount of training and exercising in Wellington can really substitute for being there and facing the challenges for real."
In the meantime, Wellington's welfare coordination centre, set up following the Christchurch quake, continues to deal with a steady stream of people from the South. The centre is on the ground floor of the Council headquarters building in Civic Square.
Over the weekend, Prime Minister John Key launched the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal. This is the official means of donating to the people of Christchurch and the recovery effort.
You can help by sharing the link to the Facebook page as widely as you can:
Christchurch Earthquake Appeal - Facebook website