Christchurch Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has fired an astounding shot at Christchurch mayor Bob Parker, calling him a "clown".

His comments, reported in yesterday's Christchurch Mail, are a reaction to the mayor's statement last week that Cera could force the city to increase rates or sell assets to pay for the earthquake recovery.

Mr Brownlee told the Mail he was furious at the mayor's comments and was a "clown" for making the remark.

He dismissed Mr Parker's assertion, saying the Cera Act specifically forbids such a move. Section 48, clause 3 of the act states the minister "must not direct any council to (a) set a rate under section 23 of the Local Government (Rating) Act 2003".

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