The Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce says the enormity of the financial cost of earthquakes mean that the Christchurch City Council must look at all funding options, including asset sales, to pay for the rebuild.
In a submission on the council's draft annual plan, chamber chief executive Peter Townsend said the council must find new ways, other than borrowing and increasing rates, to raise the money.
Mr Townsend said the council cannot underestimate how much money is needed in the next 10 to 15 years for the city's rebuild and all funding options should be explored, not just increasing rates or increasing debt.
A rates rise of 7.5% is proposed by the council.
However, the Council of Trade Unions strongly opposes selling city assets to fund the rebuild.
It says the commercial returns from assets such as Orion, the airport and Port Lyttelton have helped to keep Christchurch's rates among the lowest in New Zealand.