Labour earthquake recovery spokesperson Lianne Dalziel, says there is pressure on Christchurch City Council to raise rates and sell assets.
Weeks of tension between Mayor Bob Parker, and Earthquake Recovery Minister, Gerry Brownlee has culminated with Mr Brownlee calling Mr Parker a clown in a local newspaper.
His remarks came after Mr Parker said the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority could direct the council to raise rates or sell assets to cover costs.
But Mr Brownlee says that is not true and says dealing with the council has been frustrating.
Ms Dalziel says there is more to the spat than meets the eye.
Ms Dalziel says she believes the government wants Christchurch to pay for its own rebuild.
Council chief executive Tony Marryatt says a rates increase and the potential sale of council assets are being discussed with the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority.
Mr Marryatt says any decision will be in the council's hands and the Recovery Authority only has the power to put forward ideas.
He says the options are two of many being discussed that could help pay for the city's earthquake rebuild, and nothing has yet been decided.