Fletcher Building has put proposals to the Government for more than 1000 new Christchurch houses.

Mark Binns, infrastructure chief executive, said his company made submissions to the Department of Building and Housing this month for three worker camps for about 900 people and a further 250 to 300 houses for displaced Christchurch residents.

Temporary accommodation for workers was the number one issue in Christchurch, he said.

"There are going to have to be workers from other parts of New Zealand. There are less houses and accommodation available so we just know that accommodation is going to be required and we need to start doing it now because there's a lead time and we've got winter coming up. You don't want to be doing ground works in winter so it's an urgent issue for us.

"When the quake occurred, I set up two teams: one looking at worker accommodation and another looking at temporary accommodation for households. We got flooded with ideas from kitset builders and modular home providers from New Zealand, Australia, Asia and we sifted through those."

Fletcher was unlikely to be the only contender to develop the hundreds of houses needed, he said.

"I presume every man and his dog put in an expression of interest, so the department is considering that now."

Fletcher started preparations after the September 4 quake, identifying pieces of land around Christchurch that could be used. Although Binns would not say where the land was, the concept was for sites to be leased, as thousands of houses were needed for people whose places had been damaged.

Bringing cruise ships into Lyttelton and docking them there for the workers would be options considered, he said.

The concept of suburbs being abandoned and new subdivisions being created was possible, because Christchurch had land opportunities.

He predicted a long debate about the CBD's new appearance, height restrictions and urban planning issues.

"Then unfortunately it goes down to simple old money and landowners in the CBD will have to make economic decisions based on how much insurance money they've got to rebuild their buildings."