Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker says council staff are working to restore as much of the city's infrastructure as possible by the end of the day.
Mr Parker said the council's goal is to give the people of Christchurch and outlying areas the best possible Christmas.
Repairs to watermains, roads and to remove liquefaction was underway.
A welfare centre that opened on Friday night is closing as there has been no demand for it.
Mr Parker said wastewater is flowing into the Avon at four places, so people should stay out of the river.
Earlier, the Mayor said the city largely held up though the timing was devastating.
He said people were looking forward to the Christmas break and this will be hard for them to deal with.
The next week will be taken up with engineers checking buildings and structures for damage.
However, Mr Parker said rail and road tunnels were open and he was optimistic about the soundness of the infrastructure.
All city council premises, including libraries and recreation centres, are closed until further notice.
Port Hills warning
Mr Parker said the earthquakes are a wakeup call to homeowners in the Port Hills, who refuse to move despite being prohibited from living there.
Earlier this month, about 30 people were given 20 days to leave their homes because of the risk that further earthquakes and rockfalls pose, or they would face court action.
Mr Parker says Friday was a warning to those who think they can ignore the rules and think they know more than the experts about the safety of the area.
He says the area is dangerous and they should not be there.
He says those who continue to stay have a responsiblity not just to themselves but to others who may have to rescue them.