kids looking at civil defense supplies

Christchurch earthquake support and assistance

In the aftermath of the earthquakes help is available for you, your family and whānau. Here’s a brief outline of the services and support available to you.

Canterbury Earthquake Temporary Accommodation Service (CETAS)

The Temporary Accommodation Service assists homeowners and people in rented accommodation whose homes are uninhabitable or who need help finding suitable rental accommodation while their house is repaired.

Householders who need help finding emergency accommodation are encouraged to call 0800 673 227.

Accommodation options include private rental and government supported accommodation, such as temporary villages, for those who qualify.

Housing New Zealand tenants should contact HNZC directly for help if needed on 0800 801 601.

Financial assistance may be available for Canterbury homeowners who have had to leave their home as a result of the earthquakes, and now face additional accommodation costs such as rent, board, or motel stays.

Earthquake Support Coordination Service connects people to a dedicated Earthquake Support Coordinator who will help link people to relevant information and services to help identify what services are required.

For more information go to or contact them on 0800 673 227 (Monday to Friday - 8am to 5pm).

Canterbury Support Line

If you are finding it hard to cope and need support you can ring the Canterbury Support Line on 0800 777 846 (7 days a week 9am to 11pm).

When you call this helpline, someone will talk with you and help work out what kind of support you may need. They can connect you with free counselling services or organisations that can offer you practical support, information or advice.

A list of available social support services is also available on the Family Services Directory.

Earthquake Support Coordinators

Earthquake Support Coordinators are available to assist people navigate their way through the wide range of services involved in rebuilding people's homes and lives. The coordinators work with you to access as little or as much help as you need.

Earthquake Support Coordinators can meet with you anywhere you choose - your home, place of work, or other location. They can:

  • provide information, identify services to assist with earthquake-related housing, finance, legal, insurance and health matters,
  • organise meetings between you and the experts.

The assistance is free and confidential.

For more information or referral call 0800 777 846 7 days per week, 9am to 11pm.

Recovery information and support - CERA

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) was set up by the Government to lead recovery work following the devastating earthquakes of September 2010 and February 2011.

For all enquiries call 0800 RING CERA (0800 746 423).

For general enquiries email:

For land enquiries email:

Help from Red Cross

There are a number of organisations across the region offering assistance to those affected by the earthquake. One of these organisations is Red Cross. For the types of assistance offered by the Red Cross go to or call 0800 754 726.

Family Violence Information Line

Disasters can be tough on relationships but resorting to violence is never OK. It's more important than ever for people to ask for help if they are experiencing violence in their family.

In an emergency, ring the Police on 111.

The 0800 Family Violence Information Line provides information and connects you with local services. It operates every day and is open from 9am - 11pm. Call 0800 456 450.

Tax support

Inland Revenue Help Line 0800 473 566

Call Inland Revenue for information about tax, Working for Families Tax Credits, Child Support, KiwiSaver or Student Loans. You can also visit

Tax returns personal and business

If the Canterbury earthquakes have stopped you from meeting a tax return or payment due date, please don’t worry. Inland Revenue will work with you to sort things out. You can contact them using secure webmail at or by calling 0800 473 566.

If your tax records have been destroyed or damaged, please call 0800 473 566. Inland Revenue can work with you to help reconstruct your records.

After your returns are filed, and your tax has been paid, you can apply for a remission of any late filing penalties, late payment penalties and use-of-money interest.

Visit for more information.

Health and safety and employment relations - Department of Labour

For information about health and safety and employment relations for employers and employees who have been affected by the earthquakes - give the Department of Labour a call 0800 20 90 20 or visit their website

Support for immigrants and migrants

Immigration queries

If you're affected by the earthquake and you have an immigration query please call the Immigration Contact Centre on 0508 55 88 55.

Important contacts

Organisation Phone number
Canterbury Support Line 0800 777 846
Christchurch Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) 0800 RINGCERA (0800 746423)
Earthquake Commission (EQC) 0800 326 243
Christchurch City Council (03) 941 8999
Housing New Zealand Emergency assistance 0800 801 601
Child, Youth and Family 0508 FAMILY (0508 326459)
Work and Income 0800 559 009
Inland Revenue 0800 473 566
ACC Injury Enquiries 0800 101 996
Department of Labour 0800 209 020
Immigration Queries 0508 558 855