Cathedral Square will partially reopen over the Christmas-New Year period to allow the public to see first-hand the dramatic change that has taken place in the heart of Christchurch.
The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) is altering the red zone cordon at the intersection of Gloucester St and Colombo St to provide an extended walkway into the Square, leading to a public viewing area near the police kiosk.
The new public area will provide much closer viewing of the Christ Church Cathedral and surrounds, compared to the existing walkway in place at the intersection, which has proven popular.
The temporary cordon change is possible because of a reduction in work around the Square over the holiday period.
New Zealand Defence Force personnel based at the intersection's red zone checkpoint will continue to manage public access.
Cera chief executive Roger Sutton said seeing the extensive damage to the cathedral and loss of buildings around the square may be difficult for some, but it was important to give people the opportunity.
The extended walkway and viewing area in Cathedral Square will remain in place until January 6.