More than 6000 residential homes in Christchurch originally zoned orange have been reclasssified as green-zone, meaning owners can go ahead with rebuilding or repairing them.
The residential orange zone had in effect been the hold zone, with homeowners waiting to hear if their properties had to be abandoned. Frustration had been growing as a result.
Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee announced on Friday afternoon that 6430 homes have been zoned green. He subsequently told Checkpoint that many of those houses didn't suffer substantial damage, but there had been questions over the condition of the land.
He says that in June several thousand properties in Parklands experienced liquefaction that hadn't happened during previous quakes, and a detailed assessment had been needed.
Mr Brownlee says he's pushing to have the 1066 homes still in the orange zone given a final classification by Christmas.
Another 3000 homes in hillside suburbs remain in the white zone until geotechnical reports are finalised - hopefully also by Christmas.