The prince met residents in Sumner ahead of his attendance at the National Christchurch Memorial Service in Hagley Park.
The visit was curtailed as the prince was running late.
He spoke at some length with members of the Sumner fire service about their work following the quake.
The meeting took place in front of the RSA, where the earthquake brought down a large boulder.
Radio New Zealand's reporter following the visit says it had the air of a street party.
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