Mayor Bob Parker has publicly apologised for city council staff signing off the ill-fated CTV building which claimed the lives of 115 people in the February 22 quake.
A day after the city council was heavily criticised for issuing a building permit in a damning royal commission report into the collapse, Mr Parker fronted up to the news media.
He said the city council accepted responsibility for its part in allowing such a flawed building to gain a permit when it was built in the mid-1980s. Everyone at the council was "truly sorry", he said.
The city council was criticised in the report for wrongfully signing off the building's faulty design in 1986 and again for city council officials "green-stickering" it after the first major earthquake in September 2010 - with no expert advice from an engineer.
The damning royal commission report has opened the way for a possible police prosecution and compensation claim from survivors and victims' families against the city council and company which designed the building Alan Reay Consultants Ltd and its principal Dr Alan Reay.
Mr Parker said the city council would ``absolutely'' cooperate with any police investigation.
``If there should be any consequences of that, then so be it,'' he said.
``The police will decide, initially, where that final legal responsibility rests, and I dare say there is the potential for others outside of that to take actions different parties.''
Kelvin Reid, barrister and legal adviser to the city council, said the council was not currently preparing itself to respond to any legal action against it.
Prominent civil action lawyer Grant Cameron whose law firm acts for several of the CTV victims' families said yesterday if the parties wanted to take civil action it could be 12 to 18 months to get to court.
But he said it was too early to consider any compensation claims.
``We hold no instructions at this stage,'' he said.
``It's far too early for the families to digest the royal commission's report. We're taking no view on the matter at this time.''
Mr Cameron said the families might want to consider their position over the Christmas-New Year break.
Mr Cameron, who also acted for the families of victims in the 1995 Cave Creek disaster, said there were clear parallels with the tragedy that claimed 14 lives when a poorly built Department of Conservation viewing platform collapsed north of Punakaiki on the West Coast.
``There are definitely parallels with Cave Creek in that there was a tragic outcome that, with the benefit of hindsight, was avoidable,'' he said.
A commission of inquiry into the Cave Creek tragedy highlighted many serious concerns withe DOC's construction, including that the platform wasn't designed or approved by a qualified engineer, none of the people involved in its construction were qualified engineers and a building consent was never obtained.
Mr Cameron said there was ``a lot of controversy'' about why the Crown didn't pursue a prosecution against individuals in the Cave Creek case.