A Christchurch business owner has described trying to reopen a business after the earthquake as "diabolical" because of the city council's consent process.
The owner of the Belgian Beer Cafe Torenhof, Mark McGuinness, says his building consents costs have reached almost $20,000.
He says the process took 89 days instead of the council's 20-day target.
"It's drawn out, everybody's too frightened to make a decision, the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing," he says.
Mr McGuinness says council officials warned him not to send them original documents because so many have been lost.