Forestry Minister David Carter agrees with Wigram MP Jim Anderton that Christchurch could be rebuilt substantially with wood.
Mr Anderton says the inner city needs to be rebuilt differently, and he favours doing it with wood, which he says is sustainable, safe and cheap.
Mr Carter backs the idea, saying he will do all he can to encourage the use of timber in the reconstruction.
Pointing out that a lot of the city's old timber structures are still standing after the earthquake, while brick and stone buildings have collapsed, Mr Carter says timber is a remarkable product.
Recent work at the University of Canterbury shows, he says, that it's a suitable material for buildings of three, four and five storeys.
Earlier this week, plans were revealed in Melbourne for the city's first 10-storey timber apartment block.