Searchers have continued their efforts through the night to recover more bodies from the rubble at two main quake-hit sites in central Christchurch.
Recovery teams have been all night at the badly damaged Christchurch Cathedral and the Forsyth Barr building.
More than 20 people are believed to have been killed by falling debris at the cathedral in the 6.3 earthquake on 22 February.
At the Canterbury Television building, where more than 100 people may have died, work has been restricted to daylight hours; it will resume on Saturday morning.
The confirmed death toll from the earthquake stands at 163 and police say it is expected to rise to about 220.