Heritage advocates in Christchurch are frustrated about what they see as the hasty demolition of historic buildings.
At least 200 residents met at a public forum on Monday to hear from architects and structural engineers.
Former city councillor Anna Crighton, who chairs a fund to help heritage building owners, says resentment is growing towards the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority.
Ms Crighton says bureaucracy is making it too hard for them to save and restore their buildings and the easy option is to take an insurance payout.
She believes the authority is pulling down buildings that could be saved in an attempt to reach a deadline in April it has set to complete the demolition work.
Structural engineer Michael King, who has overseen post-quake rebuilds in Los Angeles and Haiti, says buildings like the ChristChurch Cathedral can be saved.
Mr King estimates it would cost $20 million to $30 million to repair the church and take two years.