Heritage building too damaged to save
The owner and insurer of the 80-year-old St Elmo Courts in Hereford Street in central Christchurch have agreed the building should be demolished.
Contractor Nikau Contractors, which expects demolition will take a month, started work on Sunday.
The building was badly damaged in September's earthquake and the shake on February 22 sealed its fate.
Civil Defence national controller John Hamilton said its owner and insurer had agreed the February quake had sealed its fate.
"The owner, as I understand, has been attempting to get it into operation, but the owner and his insurer have come to an agreement its demolition is the only path available," he said.
Hamilton said St Elmo Courts was outside the central business district, where a moratorium on demolition was put in place.