Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says demolition work has now begun on most of the major buildings in central Christchurch that need to come down.
As the demolitions are completed, Mr Brownlee says the city cordon will be progressively reduced.
He says the Earthquake Recovery Authority will finalise contracts in the next few weeks for the Pricewaterhouse Coopers building, and the Holiday Inn will embark on an owner-managed demolition.
Work is already underway on NZI House and Westpac Tower.
Outside the central city, Mr Brownlee says demolition work has begun on the Ferrymead and Terrace on the Park Apartments and the Dorset Towers.