Some business people in Napier fear the city's Art Deco heritage may be lost due to new earthquake strengthening requirements.
Under Government policy, building owners have 20 years to make sure their property meets 34% of the new building standard, or have it demolished. Category One heritage buildings have another 10 years on top of that.
Napier is known as the Art Deco capital of the world due to the concentration of the 1930's buildings in the central business district.
But optometrist Frederick Swain said many building owners have told him it is too expensive to earthquake strengthen.
He said landlords are considering waiting out the 20-year time period and then letting the buildings be demolished.
Mr Swain said central and local government have a responsibility to preserve Napier as the Art Deco capital of the world.