The idea of moving Christchurch's city centre to a new location is being rejected by mayor Bob Parker and others in the community.
Anglican Bishop Victoria Matthews says that after new building damage from Monday's earthquake aftershocks, the community must be bold enough to consider rebuilding further west.
It is estimated that up to half the buildings in the central city will have to be demolished, but Mr Parker says moving will not be considered unless land engineering reports show it is necessary.
Christchurch property owner Antony Gough says the idea is crazy because the city's underground infrastructure is almost undamaged and would cost billions of dollars to reproduce.
Wigram MP Jim Anderton says the German city of Dresden was much more heavily damaged than Christchurch by bombing during World War II but has been beautifully rebuilt brick by brick.