The cordon in central Christchurch has been further reduced with the opening on Thursday of the third green zone to business and property owners and residents.
The area in the northern part of the central city had been closed since the earthquake hit on 22 February. It is bordered by Montreal and Salisbury streets, Fitzgerald and Bealey avenues, and Cambridge Terrace.[image:1432:half:right]
Anyone wishing to enter the zone - which was open from 8am - had to provide proof of residence or business ownership.
Some residents in the zone off Bealey Avenue have had restricted access to their homes before now, but for others Thursday was the first time back since the quake.
Once in, they were asked to go to the information centre at the former Christchurch Women's Hospital, where teams of people have been available to give welfare assistance and other advice.
The zone will be opened to the public from 8am on Friday. Civil Defence says drivers must adhere to the 30 km/h speed restriction, as many roads within the zone are damaged.
It is not known when the last of the green zones, to the north-west of the inner central business district, will be opened for general access.
Parts of the red zone - which surrounds the inner CBD - will open to business owners on Monday with controlled and escorted access only.