Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker says he cannot rule out council money being used to save heritage buildings damaged by the earthquake.
The owners of six seriously damaged heritage buildings in the city have applied for consent to demolish them following the 7.1 quake in Canterbury on 4 September.
Mr Parker says the owners of some of the heritage buildings may not have the money to restore them, hence the applications for demolition.
He says the council will face some very hard decisions in the coming weeks over what extent it can go to to save the buildings and it may be appropriate to buy some of the buildings and restore them.
"If the council feels strongly that, if in the broad community interest, for a building that is under threat to be saved, then council has to be prepared to put its money where its mouth is," he said.
Mr Parker said the goal is to save as many listed heritage buildings as possible
"We have to accept that in extraordinary circumstances such as this, saving everything is not going to be possible."
Mr Parker said the council will have its first look at the options when it next meets on Monday.