Car park areas of the Grand Chancellor have been removed and a tower crane has been installed to start demolishing other parts of the building.
The 17-storey Clarendon Towers building is also due to be demolished once plans for the operation have been finalised.
In Cashel Mall, which will be the first part of the inner city red zone to reopen, 10 buildings have been demolished with several more are in the process of being dismantled.
Meanwhile, residents in the so-called white zones in Waimakariri and Selwyn will next week be told whether or not the land is safe to live on.
Minister of Earthquake Recovery Gerry Brownlee says he expects the area will be designated as a green zone, meaning residents will get the go-ahead to stay and to start repairing their quake-damaged homes.