Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says he has no desire to "bring out the bulldozers and take Christchurch to the ground", but he does want to return the city to normal as soon as possible.
At a media briefing on Saturday, Mr Brownlee said if he had his way, most of Christchurch's heritage buildings would be bowled the next day - prompting concerns that demolitions would be rushed through.
On Radio New Zealand this morning, Mr Brownlee said Christchurch had 1600 buildings rated somewhere between category 1 and category 4 heritage buildings.
He said a number of those buildings should "realistically" have been demolished after the September 4 quake but that he believed heritage orders preventing their destruction had been "far too precious".
Should earthquake-damaged heritage buildings be demolished ASAP? Here is the latest selection of Your Views: