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The Government says it is too early to know whether it will need more money to rebuild Christchurch, but it isn't going to consider a taxpayer levy.

Finance Minister Bill English told Parliament today the $5.5 billion rebuilding fund in the May budget allowed for "considerable uncertainty" around cost estimates.

"It does appear that the damage that has occurred as a result of the most recent earthquake has occurred largely in areas that already required substantial repair," he said.

"It could be some time before we know whether that particular event is going to require more money allocated to that fund."

Asked by Green Party co-leader Russel Norman whether the Government would have to increase its borrowing, Mr English replied: "We won't have a clear idea of that until we know the likely costs and where they fall."

It is Green Party policy to raise the rebuild money through a taxpayer levy, and Dr Norman asked whether Mr English would reconsider that.

Dr Norman said Christchurch City Council proposed an earthquake levy on ratepayers.

"Is it not a cruel paradox that the very people least able to pay an earthquake levy -- the ratepayers of Christchurch -- may have to pay a levy when the rest of the country doesn't?" he said.

Mr English said the rest of New Zealand would effectively pay the Government's share of the rebuild.

"We've borrowed the money, it's going to be repaid later with interest and all New Zealanders are doing to be contributing to that."

Mr English said the Government wasn't goiing to reconsider a taxpayer levy.

"The Government, as indicated in the budget, has the capacity to fund its share of the Christchurch rebuilding costs," he said.

"There are other more significant issues at the moment which need to be resolved to allow the rebuild to continue -- funding isn't the main one."

- NZPA