Rupture of the Greendale Fault during the 4 September 2010, M w7.1 Darfield (Canterbury) earthquake produced a zone of ground-surface rupture that severely damaged several houses, buildings and lifelines. Immediately after the earthquake, surface rupture features were mapped in the field and from digital terrain models developed from airborne Light Detection and Ranging (lidar) data. To enable rebuild decisions to be made and for future land use planning, a fault avoidance zone was defined for the Greendale Fault following the Ministry for the Environment guidelines on ‘Planning for the Development of Land on or Close to Active Faults’. We present here the most detailed map to date of the fault trace and describe how this was used to define and characterise the fault avoidance zone for land use planning purposes. © 2012 The Royal Society of New Zealand.